Tag: Motorsports

Recalling Ted Williams: The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived

Ted Williams may have been the greatest hitter who ever lived. Williams played for the Boston Red Sox from 1939 to 1960, and missed nearly five full seasons while serving his country in World War II and later the Korean War as a Marine fighter pilot.

The Splendid Splinter hit 521 home runs, third all-time behind only Babe Ruth and Jimmie Foxx, and he retired after homering in his final at-bat in 1960. Williams had a .344 lifetime average, won seven batting titles and was the last player to bat .400 with a .406 average in 1941.

Williams hit .388 to win the American League batting title in 1957—at the age of 38. He won two MVPs (1946, 1949) and is the only player in history to win the Triple Crown twice. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1966.

David Cataneo’s book I Remember Ted Williams contains anecdotes and memories from the players and people who knew him best.

Here is a sampling of some of the top reminisces from that book:

“I always say that Ted needed another planet. You look at what he has accomplished. Ted Williams was one of the best fishermen, so he kind of conquered the seas. He’s one of the best baseball players, so he kind of conquered the land. He was an ace pilot, so he kind of conquered the air. So he’s kind of a man who’s outgrown this planet. He’s the real John Wayne.”
– Maureen Cronin, daughter of Red Sox manager Joe Cronin


“He never wanted to be embarrassed at the plate. Ever. He talked about it. He said, ‘When I walk down the street, I want people to say: ‘There goes Ted Williams, the best hitter I’ve ever seen.””
– Broadway Charlie Wagner, Red Sox pitcher, 1938-42, 1946


“One day at Tiger Stadium, he put on the greatest demonstration of batting practice that I had ever seen. He hit one ball after another, most of them in the upper deck. He loved to hit in Detroit. I think out of 20 pitches, he hit 17 up into the stands. And when he got through, it was early, but there were 30-35,000 in the stands. Those people just stood and gave him a standing ovation. You would have thought he had just won the World Series.”
– Boo Ferriss, Red Sox pitcher, 1946-1950


“I never met anybody in my life who was as electric as he was. I’ve met some who are electric, but none to the brilliance that he was. I mean he’d light up a funeral parlor.”
– George Sullivan, Fenway Park bat boy in 1949, sportswriter in the 50s and 60s, and the Red Sox PR director in the 80s


Williams had a stormy relationships with the Boston media—whom he referred to as the “Knights of the Keyboard.” The sportswriter who hurt Williams most was wrinkly, sour Mel Webb of the Boston Globe. On the opening day of spring training in 1947, Williams greeted the old scribe by saying, “Why don’t you drop dead you old bastard.” Webb vowed to get back at him, and he did during that season’s MVP balloting. He completely left Triple Crown winner Williams off his ballot. Ted lost the award to DiMaggio, 202-201. If Webb had voted Ted at least 10th most valuable, Williams would have won.”


“He always talked to the out-of-town writers just to screw the Boston writers. You know what he’d do? He’d be in the dugout and an out-of-towner would come in and he’d give him a big handshake. “Let’s get out of here.” They go down to the end of the dugout, all alone. They’d be talking, and all the Boston guys would be looking and wondering what the hell he was telling him. Maybe he was quitting or something. Ted did it on purpose.”
– Tim Horgan, longtime Boston Herald columnist


“Of all the things Ted told me, he said, ‘I’ve gotten all kinds of accolades in the baseball department, but the thing I’m most proud of was I was a good marine fighter pilot.’ He was so darned proud of being a marine.”
– Long-time friend Frank Cushing


Williams on being sold to the Red Sox
“When I first heard the news that I had been sold to Boston, I almost blew a fuse. I always dreamed of playing with the Yankees or Giants. Babe Ruth was my hero. I used to dream of hitting home runs into the friendly right-field stands in the Yankee Stadium or Polo Grounds. Why, I had followed baseball since I was old enough to read and the Red Sox had been mired in the second division throughout my boyhood.”


His opinion on whether, as manager of the Washington Senators, he could get along with a cantankerous player like Ted Williams.
“If he can hit like Ted Williams, yes.”

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

The Linchpins: #6 Jermale Hines

Drew Thurman (3:24 pm)

In this series of profiles, we are taking a look at some of the under the radar Buckeye players who play a vital role in a championship run. Everyone knows the importance of players like Pryor, Saine, Posey, Brewster, Boren, Heyward, Homan, and Rolle. This series is not about those big names players, rather the indispensable guys that get looked over. Check out No. 6, Jermale Hines…

Why he is important:

With Kurt Coleman and Anderson Russell now gone, it’s pretty obvious why Jermale Hines is important. He is the only player on the depth chart at safety that has any experience, and you better believe the staff is counting on him for leadership. Coleman was a leader on and off the field, which will be missed, especially in the secondary. Torrence and Chekwa don’t have the leadership swagger, so Hines stepping into that role could be vital. There is no doubt that the staff is pushing this too. Check out Hines’ words this spring:

“It actually hit me the first day after winter workouts when we had to gather up and stretch,” Hines said. He took what had been his regular position in the circle the past three years when he said safeties coach Paul Haynes yelled, “‘Get in the middle.'”  

Hines will also play a huge role in how good the Buckeye defense really is. Last year he was quietly fourth on the team in tackles with 57, while also recording 3.5 tackles for loss and two interceptions. Look for Hines to build on those numbers this season, and quite frankly, the team needs him to. Safety play was a huge part of the success of the Buckeyes in ’09, especially in the turnover department, so don’t underestimate how important Hines will be to this year’s squad. 

What he did this spring:

The first thing the spring exposed was where Hines would be starting. Hines had previously played at the Star position and also took over for Anderson Russell at free safety, yet many assumed he would move over and take Kurt Coleman’s vacant strong safety role . It seems like a natural fit for Hines, who is literally as big as MLB Brian Rolle and is a very solid tackler. However, the spring depth chart has Hines listed as the starting free safety, with Orhian Johnsonas the starting strong safety, which makes sense since he played there last season.

Outside of that, Hines had a rather quiet spring. You literally can’t find anything giving positive or negative reviews to his play. This surprised me because I really thought this spring would be his coming out party with the media. The guy is always around the ball, is huge for a safety, and has every chance to be a First Team All-Big Ten performer. Yet in typical Hines fashion, he is staying quiet and under the radar. I honestly would like to have seen a stronger campaign from Hines this spring, both in play and leadership, but maybe the lack headlines will be a good thing.  

Looking ahead to 2010:

I fully expect Hines to once again be one of the top tacklers on the team, and be one of the most recognizable names in the Big Ten. Outside of Tyler Sash at Iowa there is not a better safety in the conference, and if he has the season I expect, he will be one of the best handful of safeties in the country. 

I was a huge Kurt Coleman fan, and I think the Buckeyes will miss his timely plays, but get ready to watch the season Hines will have. He has physical gifts that Coleman will never have, and I think Coleman’s memory may fade pretty fast in ’10.   

The Linchpins:

10) Ben Buchanan
9) Devon Torrence
8) Etienne Sabino
7) Nathan Williams
6) Jermale Hines

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Copyright © 1996-2010 Kuzul. All rights reserved.
iDream theme by Templates Next | Powered by WordPress