The race for the batting title between Ty Cobb and Lajoie in 1910 is a bit of baseball legend. The 1910 batting title was hotly contested, with a Chalmers automobile to go to the leading batter. Most of the baseball world rooted for the popular Lajoie and against the hotheaded Cobb, who had won the three previous titles. With two games left in the season, Cobb decided to bench himself to protect his lead over Lajoie; on the final day of the season, Nap needed 8 hits to win the title. In a doubleheader at St. Louis, Lajoie bunted for seven infield hits and swung for a triple.
The newspapers called them "suspect" hits - indeed, they were more than suspect. It was ultimately revealed that St. Louis' manager "Peach Pie" Jack O'Connor had ordered his third baseman to play very deep against Lajoie, encouraging the bunt. O'Connor had also bribed and bullied the official scorer, offering him a new forty-dollar suit as barter for favorable treatment. The scorer followed O'Connor's suggestion so zealously that he even gave a hit to Lajoie on an obvious throwing error from the St. Louis shortstop.
It seemed that Lajoie had the title in the bag - but it was not to be. "Fair is fair," said Hugh Fullerton, a popular and widely respected journalist, and announced the reversal of a decision he had made as the official scorer for a Tiger game earlier that season, where he had marked Cobb down as having reached on an error. Now retracting his decision, Fullerton credited Cobb with a hit - when all was said and done, the final averages were Cobb .3850687, Lajoie .3840947.
The whole episode was investigated by AL President Ban Johnson - clearing all parties, he decided that Cobb should be the batting champion. Then, as a balm and whitewash for the whole matter, he arranged with the Chalmers Motor Company for Lajoie to receive a car anyway.
Later historical research by The Sporting News revealed Lajoie's .384 average actually should have won the title. Cobb's official average of .385 was inflated because one of his games was inadvertently counted twice. In a dispute that rose to the highest baseball levels, Commissioner Bowie Kuhn ruled in 1981 that the mistake would not be corrected.