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 Ted Williams

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Ted Williams

  • Original Name Theodore Samuel
  • Birth 30 Aug 1918 San Diego, San Diego County, California, USA
  • Death 5 Jul 2002 Inverness, Citrus County, Florida, USA
  • Burial Scottsdale, Maricopa County, Arizona, USA
  • Memorial ID 6581325

Hall of Fame Major League Baseball Player. Considered by many to be the greatest hitter of all time, he was born in San Diego, California. A shy and sensitive boy growing up, his parents separated when he was at a young age, and his mother worked as a Salvation Army worker. He spent most of his youth playing baseball around the San Diego sandlots. With plenty of free time on his hands, he began to develop the skills that would make him one of the most feared hitters in all of baseball. After graduation from high school, he signed with the San Diego Padres of the Pacific Coast League. Two seasons later while on a scouting trip to California, Hall of Fame baseball player Eddie Collins signed Ted Williams for the Red Sox, who bought his contract for $25,000 and four players. After one season with Triple-A Minneapolis, he was in the opening day lineup into the Boston lineup as their right fielder in 1939, hitting .327 with 31 homers. Williams tipped his hat for every home run that season. First known as "The Kid," when he broke in, the Red Sox moved the right field fence in following his rookie season. Williams 'slumped' to 23 homers in 1940, but batted a lofty .344. Williams became frustrated during his sophomore year when one game he struck out, then made an error. He heard boos for the first time and vowed never to tip his hat again in Fenway Park where the Red Sox played, thus starting a controversial relationship between Williams and the Boston fans. He had 20-10 vision, and in 1940, to protect that vision, he moved to leftfield so he wouldn't have to stare into the sun at Fenway Park. Williams twice won the triple crown, leading the league in batting average, home runs, and runs batted in during the same season. Eight times he led the American League in slugging percentage, eight times in walks, and holds the record for career on-base percentage (.483). A passionate student of hitting, he took his bats to be weighed at the post office to be sure they had precisely the heft he desired. His theories on hitting were published in a book entitled "The Science of Hitting,'' He won six American League batting titles, including consecutive crowns at the age of 39, when he hit .388, and at 40 (.328), making him the oldest batting champion in history. His career was also marked by a running feud with the sporting press, with his poor relationship with Boston sports reporters considered to have most likely cost him the 1941 Most Valuable Player award when he lost out to the New York Yankees’ Joe DiMaggio and in 1942 when he lost out to Joe Gordon of the Yankees. He again lost to DiMaggio in 1947, with one Boston writer failing to even put Williams on the Ballot. He did win the MVP award in 1946 and 1949. In 1942 he enlisted in the United States Navy to fight in World War II, and became a fighter pilot in the Pacific Theater. He served his country with distinction and honor for three years. When the Korean War started out the years later, he again enlisted, this time in the United States Marine Corps, again serving as a jet fighter pilot (and for a time was wingman for future NASA astronaut and US Senator John Glenn). Speculation abounded during his career and in the present time as to what his career might have been if he had not lost those five seasons to the military, yet, Williams never complained, and was extremely proud of his service to the country. He led the American League in home runs four times, and his career 521 home runs remain as the Red Sox' team all-time record. Over the course of his career, he accrued a .344 average and had 1,839 RBI and 521 Homeruns. His .483 on-base percentage is Major League Baseball’s al-time best, with the legendary Babe Ruth second at .474. In slugging percentage, Williams' .634 trails only Ruth's .690. Williams' .406 average in 1941 is one of sport's magic numbers. No player has topped .400 since. Williams' lifetime batting average of .344 was the highest by any major leaguer since Tris Speaker. He retired in 1960, homering in his final ever at bat at Fenway Park. After his retirement, he managed the Washington Senators/Texas Rangers from 1969 to 1972, and in 1969, as part of baseball's centennial celebration, he was named Hitter of the Century. A quote from his book, "My Turn At Bat" has become famous – “A man has to have goals -- for a day, for a lifetime -- and that was mine, to have people say, ‘There goes Ted Williams, the greatest hitter who ever lived." He was a first-ballot inductee into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York in 1966. He died in Citrus County Memorial Hospital in Inverness, Florida at the age of 83.

Bio by: Frank Russo


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: William Barritt
  • Added: 7 Jul 2002
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6581325
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Ted Williams (30 Aug 1918–5 Jul 2002), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6581325, citing Alcor Life Extension Foundation, Scottsdale, Maricopa County, Arizona, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .