Tyrus Raymond Cobb was born on 18 December 1886 at a place known as Narrows in nearby Banks County. He is one of the immortal legends of the sport and spent most of his career (1905-1928) with the Detroit Tigers, finishing with the Philadelphia Athletics. He was the first man inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936. Ty Cobb, like his peers of the era, didn’t make a fortune in baseball but he invested his earnings into Coca-Cola and other stocks and made millions. His donations helped build the first comprehensive hospital in Franklin County, in memory of his parents. In 1953 he created the Cobb Educational Fund to assist students in need. The hospital has grown exponentially and the scholarships are still being awarded. Cobb died in Atlanta on 17 July 1961.
The statue was commissioned by C & S Bank president Mills Lane and created by the great sculptor, Felix de Weldon, who is best known for the Marine Corps (Iwo Jima) Memorial. It was first placed at the old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium in 1977 and made the move to Turner Field in 1997. When the Braves left Turner Field for SunTrust Park in 2017, they decided to leave the Cobb statue behind, citing it wasn’t theirs to move. The Atlanta Recreation Authority and Georgia State University both made claims for the statue but ultimately relinquished it to the City of Royston. It’s become the biggest tourist attraction in town, and really, where else would it need to be?