EXPIRED: 02/13/10 – Jimmy Lanier, 93, was friends with Ty Cobb’s son, Herschel. Cobb, as we all know was a slugger for the Detroit Tigers for nearly 2 decades in the formative days of baseball.

Because of that friendship with Cobb’s son, and possibly only because of that friendship, Lanier was tapped to be Cobb’s batboy. So for two years, in ‘25 and ‘26, he rubbed saddle soap into Ty’s glove and honed his bats with bone to make them smoother.

As batboy, his mom had to take in his uniform, as it was way too big and made him ‘clownish’.

After his career in batboy-ing was over, Lanier went to college on a football scholarship and earned a degree in journalism. But he fell into the paint business, first at Sherwin-Williams and then at Glidden, where he retired after 40 years.

But even late in life, the relationship Lanier and his previous boss was strong. He and Cobb kept in touch and met frequently until Mr. Cobb passed. And Lanier continued to speak at baseball conventions, including the dedication of the Ty Cobb Museum in the late ‘90s.

You can’t separate a boy and baseball, no matter how old they get.




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