Great Baseball Moments- July 13th, 1999- Baseball’s All-Star Game was held at Fenway Park in Boston. One of my favorite All-Star memories [it’s hard to believe its been 22 years it seems like yesterday.] Ted Williams at the age of eighty was honored during the pre-game ceremonies. Ted’s health wasn’t good, he couldn’t see well. The video kind of tells the story- but Ted was there. After the National Anthem was sung by the great Donna Summer [a Boston girl] a garage door opened in center field at Fenway and a golf cart emerged with Ted. They wheeled him in along the right field and first base line. When he got to the pitchers mound area all the players mobbed him. He spoke to Mark McGwire and asked him if he could ever smell smoke coming from his bat- to which McGwire said ‘All the time.’ Ted chatted with his friends Tony Gwynn and Nomar Garciaparra. Then Ted yelled for Sammy Sosa and Sammy took his hand. Tony Gwynn helped Ted throw out the first pitch to the legendary Red Sox catcher Carlton Fisk.
Ted Williams is one of my favorite all time players. During his playing career he was a controversial figure but he aged well and kept himself involved in the game. One of the things I admired about the older Teddy F. Ballgame was- he wasn’t like some of those old timers knocking the current players and championing his era. He was still a fan of the game, talking hitting with current players. He didn’t bad mouth the current players/ stars he was a fan of theirs and became friends with many. Ted may have been the greatest hitter who ever lived- I’d say is either The Babe or Ted- but no one ever discussed hitting better than Ted did. The 1999 All-Star Game was his last great moment. He would die on July 5, 2002 at the age of 83.