Theodore Samuel “Ted” Williams (August 30, 1918 – July 5, 2002) was a baseball legend. He played his entire 19-year (1939-60) Major League Baseball for the Boston Red Sox and is considered one of the greatest hitters in history. He played Minor Leagues from 1936 – 1938 for the San Diego Padres. Ted Williams was nicknamed “The Kid”, “Teddy Ballgame”, “The Splendid Splinter”, “The Thumper”, and “The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived”.
Greatest Sporting Achievement
Ted Williams won both the Triple Crown and American League Most Valuable Player twice and is the last player to hit over .400 for an entire season, having hit .406 in 1941. His career batting average is .344 (the sixth highest since 1990), has a total of 521 home runs and a .482 on-base percentage which is considered to be the highest of all time.
He was a first ballot Hall of Famer in the Baseball Hall of Fame, receiving over 93 percent of the vote in 1966. It was during his first year of eligibility.
Why Was He So Good?
Williams have very good vision which made it easy for him to become the greatest hitter, a fisherman and a pilot. He was extremely focused on pitchers and liked to observe them. He had a good eye and hand-eye coordination. Throughout Ted Williams’ entire life, he said that his only ambition was to have people point at him and say, “There goes Ted Williams, the greatest hitter who ever lived.”
What You May Not Know
- During the 1943-45, Ted Williams didn’t play for the Red Sox because he chose to serve his country being part of the US Navy. He never saw active duty overseas but he was a skilled military pilot and gunner. He returned to playing baseball after the war.
- Even at the age of 39, he hit .388 and became the oldest player in the entire history to lead the league in batting average.
- Williams wrote “The Science of Hitting” in 1970 in which he shared some tips and tricks on how to be better at swinging and hitting.
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