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  1. #1
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    RIP Teddy ballgame. [img]graemlins/cry.gif[/img]



    http://people.mw.mediaone.net/rbl13/rfl/index.html

    CRYSTAL RIVER, Fla. (AP) -- Ted Williams, the Boston Red Sox revered and sometimes reviled "Splendid Splinter" and baseball's last .400 hitter, has died at age 83.

    Williams, who suffered a series of strokes and congestive heart failure in recent years, was taken Friday to Citrus County Memorial Hospital "where he was pronounced deceased," said sheriff's department spokesman Lt. Joe Eckstein.

    He underwent open-heart surgery in January 2001 and had a pacemaker inserted in November 2000.

    The Hall of Famer always wanted to be known as the greatest hitter ever, and his stats backed up the claim.

    A two-time MVP who twice won the Triple Crown, Williams hit .344 lifetime with 521 home runs - despite twice interrupting his career to serve as a Marine Corps pilot in World War II and the Korean War.

    He had 145 RBIs as a Red Sox rookie in 1939 and closed out his career - fittingly - by hitting a home run at Fenway Park in his final major league at-bat in 1960.

    Williams' greatest achievement came in 1941 when he batted .406, getting six hits in a doubleheader on the final day of the season.

    Williams contended his eyesight was so keen he could pick up individual stitches on a pitched ball and could see the exact moment his bat connected with it.

    He also asserted he could smell the burning wood of his bat when he fouled a ball straight back, just missing solid contact.

    Williams was a perfectionist who worked tirelessly at his craft and had no tolerance for those less dedicated. He was single-minded and stubborn, a player who reduced the game to its simplest elements: batter vs. pitcher, one trying to outsmart the other. In those instances, he usually won.

    Tall and thin, gaunt almost, Williams hardly possessed the traditional profile of a slugger. Yet he was probably the best hitter of his time -- and one with a chip on his shoulder.

    Often involved in feuds both public and private during his career, Williams mellowed later in life.

    The best example came in his reaction to an emotional ovation from the crowd at the 1999 All-Star Game at Fenway Park, Williams' longtime playground.

    After a roster of Hall of Famers was introduced, Williams rode a golf cart to the pitcher's mound, where he threw out the first ball. Suddenly, he was surrounded by a panorama of stars, past and present, who reacted like a bunch of youngsters crowding their idol for an autograph.

    For a long time, they just hovered around him, many with tears in their eyes.

    Then, San Diego's Tony Gwynn gently helped a misty-eyed Williams to his feet and steadied him as Williams threw to Carlton Fisk, another Boston star.

    The crowd roared.

    "Wasn't it great!" Williams said. "I can only describe it as great. It didn't surprise me all that much because I know how these fans are here in Boston. They love this game as much as any players and Boston's lucky to have the faithful Red Sox fans. They're the best."

    It wasn't always that way for Williams. Revered as a slugger, he also was remembered for snubbing Fenway fans, refusing to tip his hat when he hit the ultimate walk-off home run in his final at-bat at age 42.

    "Gods do not answer letters," John Updike once wrote in a profile of Williams, who sealed that image in 1941 with an 11th-hour show of courage.

    Going into the final day of the season, Williams was batting .3996. Rounded off, that would be .400, and Red Sox manager Joe Cronin suggested he sit out the day's doubleheader to clinch that golden number.

    Williams refused. Instead, he played both games, went 6-for-8 and lifted his season average to .406. No one has approached .400 since.

    "He killed the ball, just killed it," said Pete Suder, who played shortstop for the Philadelphia Athletics that day. "He hit one into the loudspeaker horns. He hit another one over the fence."

    That year, Williams also led the league with 37 homers, 145 bases on balls and a .735 slugging percentage. Despite all those gaudy statistics, the American League MVP award went to Joe DiMaggio, who had a record 56-game hitting streak.

    The next year, Williams won the Triple Crown, leading the league with 36 home runs, 137 RBIs and a .356 average. But the MVP award went to Yankees second baseman Joe Gordon (.322, 18, 103).

    The same thing happened in 1947, when Williams won his second Triple Crown by hitting .343 with 32 homers and 114 RBIs, but lost the MVP vote again to DiMaggio (.315, 20, 97).

    By then, Williams' relationship with the writers, particularly in Boston, had deteriorated badly. One writer left him off the MVP ballot entirely in 1947, costing him the award.

    Williams and DiMaggio were fierce competitors. Once in the fog of a cocktail party, they were nearly traded for each other so that the lefty-swinging Williams could benefit from the cozy right-field stands at Yankee Stadium and the right-handed DiMaggio could target the Green Monster at Fenway Park. The next morning, clearer heads prevailed and the deal was called off.

    "He was the best pure hitter I ever saw. He was feared," DiMaggio said in 1991, the 50th anniversary of Williams' .406 season and DiMaggio's hitting streak.

    When DiMaggio died, in March 1999, Williams said there was no one he "admired, respected and envied more than Joe DiMaggio."

    Williams led the league in hitting six times, the last in 1958, when, at age 40, he became the oldest batting champ in major league history.

    He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1966, his first year of eligibility.

    Although considered a born hitter by many, Williams worked countless hours to improve throughout his career. He often said hitting a baseball was "the hardest thing to do in sports."

    "A round ball, a round bat, curves, sliders, knuckleballs, upside down and a ball coming in at 90 to 100 miles an hour, it's a pretty lethal thing," he said.

    He once ordered postal scales for the Boston clubhouse so he could be sure of the weight of his bats. In the on-deck circle, he would massage the handle of his bat with olive oil and resin, producing a squeal that disconcerted many pitchers.

    "In order to hit a baseball properly," he once explained, "a man has got to devote every ounce of his concentration to it."

    Williams was only 20 when he joined the Red Sox in 1939, beginning a tempestuous, colorful career. He had several nicknames: Thumpin' Ted, Teddy Ballgame and The Kid. But none stuck like "The Splendid Splinter," a reference to his skinny, 6-foot-3 physique.

    He was brash and outspoken from the start. In 1940, Williams made headlines when he told a writer: "That's the life, being a fireman. It sure beats being a ballplayer. I'd rather be a fireman."

    A few years after retiring, he was quoted as saying: "I'm so grateful for baseball -- and so grateful I'm the hell out of it."

    But he didn't really stay away. He managed the Washington Senators and Texas Rangers in 1969-72 and maintained lifetime connections with the Red Sox. In 1984, the team retired his number 9.

    Theodore Samuel Williams was born Aug. 30, 1918, in San Diego. Out of high school, he signed a Pacific Coast League contract with his hometown team.

    He played 11/2 seasons with San Diego, then was obtained by the Red Sox in 1937 for the then-outrageous sum of $25,000 and five players. After a year in Minneapolis, he came to the majors in 1939.

    With a dependent mother, Williams received a military deferment from his draft board in 1942. When that season ended, though, he enlisted, becoming a Marine flier. In 1946, he returned to lead the Red Sox to the pennant and his first MVP award.

    As a member of the Marine Reserves, was called up as a jet pilot in 1952. After combat service as a fighter pilot in Korea, he rejoined the Red Sox late in the 1953 season.

    After his 1960 retirement, Williams became an avid fisherman and outdoorsman. But he returned to baseball in 1969 as manager of the Washington Senators.

    He managed three years in Washington and one more when the club moved to Texas as the Rangers in 1972. Although he was respected by his peers, Williams' teams went 273-364, a .429 mark.

    Williams returned to the Red Sox as a vice president, then was a consultant and spring training hitting instructor. But the strokes, especially a particularly severe one in February 1994, limited his vision and mobility.

    He still did occasional public appearances in his wheelchair, and remained quick-witted and an avid fan. Commenting on the 1998 home run duel between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, he said: "The McGwire-Sosa thing was so super-great. McGwire is the closest thing to gargantuan at the plate."

    In 1995, Boston dedicated a $2.3 billion harbor tunnel bearing Williams' name. At the ceremony, he made it clear he didn't consider it a memorial.

    "Every place I go, they're waving at me, sending out a cheer, sending letters and notes,' he said. 'And I thought, I've only seen it happen to somebody who looks like they're going to die. ... I'm a long ways from that."

    Married twice, he had two children, Bobbie Jo and John Henry Williams.



    [ July 05, 2002, 10:45 AM: Message edited by: strungout ]

  2. #2
    Webmaster/Graphic Artist Top Timmy's Avatar
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    10.28.16 @ 08:45 PM
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    The greatest hitter...EVER!! [img]graemlins/thumb.gif[/img]

    R.I.P. Ted Williams.
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  3. #3
    Sinner's Swing!
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    ".....and Harry Potter and all of his wizard-friends went to Hell for practicing Witchcraft. The End." -Ned Flander's version of reading "Harry Potter" to Rod and Todd.

  4. #4
    Sinner's Swing! Aquatic Punk's Avatar
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    01.11.12 @ 06:57 PM
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    R.I.P. Ted
    Gozer the Traveller will come in one of the pre-chosen forms. During the rectification of the Vuldronaii the Traveller came as a very large and moving Torb. Then of course in the third reconciliation of the last of the Meketrex supplicants they chose a new form for him, that of a Sloar. Many Shubs and Zuuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Sloar that day I can tell you.
    -Lewis Tully in Ghostbusters

  5. #5
    Eruption TommyK's Avatar
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    03.16.12 @ 03:35 PM
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    R.I.P Ted Williams. You will be missed. [img]graemlins/cry.gif[/img]
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  6. #6
    Atomic Punk
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    12.13.17 @ 08:37 PM
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    one of the greatest ever!
    definitely the best hitter ever

    and even a better man

    rip teddy

    JMJ [img]graemlins/cry.gif[/img]
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  7. #7
    Good Enough Panama Dog's Avatar
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    06.15.14 @ 04:00 PM
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    It's a sad, sad day in Boston as we have lost one of our most beloved icons. Ted Williams was not only one of the best players to ever play the game of baseball, he was also an American hero who took time out of his career to serve his country in WWII and the Korean war. Ted also devoted much of his time to charity and the Jimmy Fund, often visiting with young kids that were sick. Teddy Ballgame, you will certainly be missed, but you are in a better place now, up there in that big ballpark in the sky, back where you belong, playing ball on that field of dreams with all the greats that have gone before you. R.I.P. [img]graemlins/cry.gif[/img]
    You can twist perceptions
    Reality won't budge

  8. #8
    Hang 'Em High Reckless Fable's Avatar
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    11.28.17 @ 10:56 AM
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    Premium Member
    Teddy Baseball, thanks for everything you gave to the game of baseball and to life in general...
    [img]graemlins/thumb.gif[/img]

    I have one little rant though. Most people forget that the fans of Boston and the Boston media shit on him for a good deal of his career. Even when he had a pinched nerve in his neck during his only World Series appearance, the Boston media tried to label him as someone that couldn't hit in the big game. He won the triple crown in 1947 and finished 2nd to Dimaggio in the MVP balloting!

    My biggest show of respect of Ted came when the Boston fans gave him a standing ovation during the '99 All Star Game and he returned the favor my smiling broadly and waving his cap realizing these were not the same people booing him 40 years prior. Ted was always fair and never complained about anything. After his apperance he even said that the current Red Sox were lucky to be able to play in front of such great fans!

    What do you think is greater, Ted going 6-8 in a Double-header with his .400 batting title on the line, or his final at bat that was a homerun to win the game???

  9. #9
    Atomic Punk Raldo's Avatar
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    12.14.17 @ 10:24 AM
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    I was sorry to hear the news about the passing of one, if not the best hitters of all time. Even a huge Yankee fan like myself, feels the loss of this legend. I still read his book on 'the art of hitting'.

    RIP - Ted Williams
    Remember the Heroes - 9/11/01

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  10. #10
    Atomic Punk
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    12.13.17 @ 08:37 PM
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    bah...damn beers... [img]graemlins/drunk.gif[/img]

    JMJ

    [ July 05, 2002, 09:58 PM: Message edited by: JMJ ]
    "you can't change JMJ, it's legendary"- Brett Norton 9/24/07

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  11. #11
    Atomic Punk
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    JMJ
    "you can't change JMJ, it's legendary"- Brett Norton 9/24/07

    "It's the "JMJ" everyone had grown to love, man! Time to blow the roof off this place!"
    -Zachenfoot 2/23/10

    "The links just look a little better with JMJ. Always has, always will." -Hurricane Halen 2/24/10

    "I'm doin' the victory dance. Told ya I'd be back. Tell me ya missed me. Say it like ya mean it" - Blood and Fire. =VH= 2012. Welcome back boys :headband:

    "I don't give a flying fuck about Motley Crue. I give about a half a fuck about Rush. I like Van Halen and don't give a flying fuck how many tickets they all sell. Any questions?"- jimmyw

  12. #12
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    Really sad news indeed

    R.I.P. Ted.
    "Sorry about the mess..."<br /><br />~Han Solo Episode IV

  13. #13
    Sinner's Swing! Mario VH's Avatar
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    I'm hearing that his chlidren are fighting over what to do with the body. His son apparently wants to have him chriogenically frozen if you can believe that. Pretty sad that's he's gone and very sad that his son won't respect his Dad's wishes (apparently he wanted to be cremated.) [img]graemlins/cry.gif[/img]
    "It's now officially 5150 time!!!"

  14. #14
    Baluchitherium JWS_5150's Avatar
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    05.18.09 @ 11:19 PM
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    Donor

    Yeah Mario, that infighting is a DAMN shame...
    I'm one of those crazies on your block.

    writing

 

 

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