From the magical land of “Gotta Have It” comes this rare piece of antique baseball ephemera. Presented is a copyrighted 1911 sheet music titled “National Sports Song” with words by Harry Tobias and music by Doc Atherton. Displaying in solid (EX) condition, this well-preserved F.B. Haviland publication is clean and bright with bold graphics, intact spine and nice gloss. The lyrics portray American athletes as superior to those of other lands and name famous figures from several sports, including boxers (Jack) Johnson, (Ad) Wolgast and (Abe) Attell, along with Yale football star Ted Coy and baseball’s Ty Cobb.
What really propels this ancient and obscure paper pamphlet to collecting prominence is a front cover oval photo of a youthful Cobb, who enjoyed one of the greatest seasons in baseball history during the year this National Sports Song was published. The “Georgia Peach” led the league in numerous categories in 1911, including a remarkable .420 batting average.
Other songs about Cobb were written and published during his playing days and after his death, including the well-known and available “King of Clubs”, but an extensive search for other examples of the offered selection yielded no results, other than a reference notation in Harry Tobias’ body of work. Not even a photo was found, leading to the belief that this piece is not only very attractive, but also extremely rare.