Ted Williams AKA Teddy Ballgame- The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived- Born This Day 1918

Ted Williams was born on this day in 1918.

Ten Notes On Ted Williams

1. Ted Williams was the greatest hitter who ever lived. He lived and breathed hitting. To the end of his life he was still talking about hitting. It was an obsession. He was a career .344 hitter. He hit 521 homer runs, 1838 career RBIs. Keep in mind he missed three years due to service in World War II. Those would have been three prime seasons. He also missed most of two seasons serving in the Korean War. If not for the wars who knows what his numbers would have been like. I have  no doubt he would have broke Babe Ruth’s career home run record.

2. To me Ted Williams is the most interesting baseball player ever. I loved to hear him talk about baseball or about anything. He was an interviewers dream. He was also one of those people who could be very self-critical about mistakes he had made in his life. Ted and Joe DiMaggio have always been kind of tied together. The greatest players of their time. DiMaggio was an exciting ballplayer. He could do it all. He was a better “all around player’ than Williams was but he was a bore. A terrible interview. A very private man. Not a generous man. Ted Williams out John Wayne’d -John Wayne. John Wayne was a creation of Hollywood. Ted Williams was the Real Deal.

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3. Being the greatest hitter who ever lived is one thing but Ted Williams may have been among the greatest ever at three things- hitting a baseball, a fighter pilot and as a fisherman. Ted other obsession was fishing. He was by all accounts one of the greatest fishermen ever.

4. Ted Williams hit a home run in his last at bat. What a perfect way to go out.

5. Ted Williams had a brief period as a manager of the Washington Senators/Texas Rangers. The Rangers improved offensively under Ted but he wasn’t the most patient man and he didn’t handle the pitchers well. He wisely realized this was not something he wanted to do and got out of it.

6. Ted Williams only played in one World Series -1946 the Red Sox vs Cardinals. They lost in 7 games and Ted did not have a good series. Its too bad that he played the second half of his career mostly on bad Red Sox teams.

7. Every young ballplayer should have a copy of Ted’s book on hitting “The Science of Hitting” I remember reading it from cover to cover and over and over again as a kid.  Ted’s autobiography “My Turn At Bat” is also a great read. Leigh Montville’s recent biography on Ted is excellent.

8. Ted Williams is the last player to hit .400 in a season. To me how he did it tells all you need to know about the man. Going into the last day of the season his batting average rounded off to .400. He could have sat out the game but he said that isn’t how he wanted to do it. He went out and played a doubleheader and went 6 for 8 and ended up with a .406 average.

Ted Williams

9 Ted was a 19 time All-Star. A 2 time MVP Award {he should have won more} won the Triple Crown twice. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966. In his induction speech he talked about how the Negro League players should be honored in Cooperstown. A few years later they were.

10. Ted Williams died ten years ago on July 5th, 2002. I always thought it was too bad he didn’t die on the 4th of July. He was a great American. The last great Ted Williams moment was at the Baseball All-Star Game in 1999 at Fenway in Boston where they honored Ted.  I could write 100 notes about Ted Williams. There will never be another like him.

8 responses to “Ted Williams AKA Teddy Ballgame- The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived- Born This Day 1918

  1. great post. this was the man. i think his talent was unreal. win the triple crown go off to war come back and win the triple crown again.
    to me this is the bell weather of should a sportswriter have a vote or not. williams batted .406 and out hit dimag during his streak – no mvp. williams won the triple crown twice and was not the mvp either of those seasons. one of the boston sportswriters left williams off the ballot completely. that is inexcusable.

  2. the beginning of that 99 all star game was must see baseball tv. i remember the announcers and everyone was trying to get the game started – looking at that last picture all of the mlb players wanted to see teddy – like a modern day santa with kids in line.

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