Ted Williams

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Ted Williams : biography

30 August 1918 – 05 July 2002

For the 1946 baseball season, Williams hit .342 with 38 home runs and 123 RBIs, helping the Red Sox win the pennant on September 13, hitting the only inside-the-park home run in his Major League career in a 1-0 win against Cleveland.Montville, p. 127 Williams ran away as the winner in the MVP voting.Montville, p. 125 During an exhibition game in Fenway Park against an All-Star team during early October, Williams was hit on the elbow by a curveball by the Washington Senators’ pitcher Mickey Haefner. Williams was immediately taken out of the game, and X-rays of his arm showed no damage, but his arm was "swelled up like a boiled egg", according to Williams.Montville, p. 126 Williams could not swing a bat again until four days later, one day before the World Series, when he reported the arm as "sore". During the series, Williams batted .200, going 5-for-25 with no home runs and just one RBI. The Red Sox lost in seven games, with Williams going 0-for-4 in the last game.Montville, p. 131 Fifty years later when asked what one thing he would have done different in his life, Williams replied, "I’d have done better in the ’46 World Series. God, I would". The 1946 World Series was the only World Series Williams ever appeared in.Williams & Underwood, p. 105

In the off-season between the 1946 and season, Williams was offered a three-year, $300,000 dollar contract to play for the Mexican League, which Williams declined. Williams later signed a $70,000 contract in 1947.Williams & Underwood, p. 122 Williams was also almost traded for Joe DiMaggio in 1947. In late April, Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey and Yankees owner Dan Topping agreed to swap the players, but a day later canceled the deal when Yawkey requested that Yogi Berra come with DiMaggio. In May, Williams was hitting .337.Seidel, p. 177 Williams also won the Triple Crown in 1947, but lost the MVP award to Joe DiMaggio, with 201 votes compared to DiMaggio’s 202 votes. One writer (whom Williams thought was Mel Webb, who Williams called a "grouchy old guy",Williams & Underwood, p. 124 although the identity of the writer remains unknown) completely left Williams off his ballot, who would have tied DiMaggio or won if one writer who had voted Williams as second had voted him first.Montville, p. 134

Through 2011, he was one of seven major leaguers to have had at least four 30-homer, 100-RBI seasons in their first five years, along with Chuck Klein, Joe DiMaggio, Ralph Kiner, Mark Teixeira, Albert Pujols, and Ryan Braun.

1948–1951

In , under their new manager Joe McCarthy,Montville, p. 133 Williams hit a league-leading .369 with 25 home runs and 127 RBIs, and was third in MVP voting. On April 29, Williams hit his 200th career home run. He became just the second player to hit 200 home runs in a Red Sox uniform, joining his former teammate Jimmie Foxx. On October 2, against the Yankees, Williams hit his 222nd career home run, tying Foxx for the Red Sox all-time record. In the Red Sox final two games against the Yankees to force a one-game playoff against the Cleveland Indians, Williams got on base eight times out of ten plate appearances. In the playoff, Williams went 1-for-4, with the Red Sox losing 8–3 due to McCarthy’s decision to start Denny Galehouse over southpaw Mel Parnell.Neyer, p. 65

In , Williams got a new salary of $100,000 ($ in current dollar terms). He hit .343 (losing the AL batting title by just .0002 to the Tigers’ George Kell, thus missing the Triple Crown that year), hitting 43 home runs, his career high, and driving in 159 runs, tied for highest in the league, helping him win the MVP trophy.Montville, p. 135 On April 28, Williams hit his 223rd career home run, breaking the record for most home runs in a Red Sox uniform, passing Jimmie Foxx. Williams is still the Red Sox career home run leader. However, despite being ahead of the Yankees by one game right before the series, the Red Sox lost both games they had to play against the Yankees. The Yankees won the first of what would be five straight World Series titles in 1949.Mnookin, p. 33 For the rest of Williams’ career, the Yankees won eight pennants and five World Series titles, while the Red Sox never finished better than third place.