Thursday, July 26, 2018

"The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived": Ted Williams, on PBS American Masters

PBS American Masters aired a biography of Boston Red Sox star Ted Williams, “The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived”, link, on July 25, 2018, narrated by Jon Hamm.

Williams batted left-handed;  Fenway Park in Boston actually favored right handed hitters. He used a slightly lighter bat than usual and emphasized bat speed.

His career was interrupted twice by war.  He bargained with the Navy and got to enlist after the 1942 season, and was kept out of combat.  But he was recalled, this time as a fighter pilot, for the Korean War and almost crashed once, taking a riskier course to avoid the type of injury that could have ended his career. He returned to hitting well immediately on each return.

His .406 batting average in 1941 was the highest ever.

On hist last at bat, on September 28, 1960, in Boston, against Baltimore, he hit a home run. 

He would develop cardiomyopathy later in life and die in Florida in 2002 after having a pacemaker in 2000.

Photo link; Wikipedia attribution to Lipofsky  under CCSA 3.0 , 2002 photo of a honor event.  I have personally visited Fenway once, in 1975 (home game with Chicago White Sox). 

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