Episode 32 — Chapter 37
Cobb was also surprised to find Savannah working out regularly in the weight room. She spent a half-hour every day running on the treadmill and then went through another thirty-minute regimen of exercises and light weight training.
With his pitching background, Calvin was more interested in muscle tone than building mass and he focused on strengthening Cobb’s weaker leg. After a few days, Cobb felt strong enough to begin jogging—at first for a relatively short duration and distance. But, as the days passed, his speed and distance increased, until he began running wind sprints.
The first time Calvin saw his friend run hard, he was astonished.
“You run like a deer.”
“I was always the fastest kid on the block, and it’s given me a great advantage as a ball player.”
“From what I hear, you ran the bases wild in your days,” Calvin added.
“It’s not just about speed,” Cobb added. “It’s catchin’ your opponent off guard. You keep ‘em guessin’. You rattle the pitcher and catcher and pretty soon they’re worrying more about you than the batter.”
“Tell me about it,” Calvin nodded. “There were a bunch of rabbits that gave me nightmares during my career.”
The Ty Cobb news story was reported in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and also picked up by the AP, finding its way in newspapers across the country, although relegated to the back pages. It was repeated as a news bulletin on local Atlanta television stations, but it didn’t gain much traction beyond that.
Dr. Cantril located the article on p. 9 of the local section.
“Damn it! There’s not even a photograph of him.”
Dr. Cantril had asked Hodges to check in periodically with the Police Department. The police had received several phone calls of people who claimed to have seen a man matching Cobb’s description, but none of the sightings had checked out and Dr. Cantril was beginning to lose hope that Cobb would ever surface. Based on his visit with detective Kramer, he doubted that the Atlanta police had put much effort into the search.
Later that day, one of the nurses mentioned to Dr. Cantril that Cobb had received a visit from a young woman the afternoon of his departure. Dr. Cantril immediately assumed it was the same woman he had seen visiting Cobb a day or two before. If he could find her, he might be able to find his patient. He was not about to allow the greatest professional opportunity of his career pass by without looking under every stone.
Dr. Cantril immediately contacted hospital security, asking for videos from the reception and hallways. He cursed himself for not having thought of it earlier and hoped the discs were still available.
As the sun set on his second week’s anniversary at the farm, Cobb informed Calvin that he felt ready to play some ball.
“Let’s get it on!” Calvin chortled. “Savannah will shag. I’ll throw some pitches tomorrow morning. Don’t worry, I’ll go easy on you… at first. Hell, if you really are Ty Cobb, you should have a field-day hitting off an old-timer like me.”
It was clear from his facial expression that the Cain’s guest was looking forward to the encounter. Cobb shook hands with Calvin, “I’ll knock your pants off, old-timer.”