Ted Williams

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Ted Williams : biography

30 August 1918 – 05 July 2002

During the off-season of 1954, Williams was offered the chance to be manager of the Red Sox. Williams declined, and he suggested that Pinky Higgins, who had previously played on the 1946 Red Sox team as the third baseman, become the manager of the team. Higgins later was hired as the Red Sox manager in 1955.Williams & Underwood, p. 191 Williams sat out the first month of the season due to a divorce settlement with his wife, Doris. When Williams returned, he signed a $98,000 contract on May 13. On his first game back, Williams hit a home run,Williams & Underwood, p. 192 and he batted .356 in 320 at bats on the season, lacking enough at bats to win the batting title over Al Kaline, who batted .340 in 1955, while hitting 28 home runs and driving in 83 runs, while being named the "Comeback Player of the Year".Montville, p. 91

1956–1960

On July 17, , Williams became the fifth player to hit 400 home runs, following Mel Ott in 1941, Jimmie Foxx in 1938, Lou Gehrig in 1936, and Babe Ruth in 1927. On August 7, , after Williams was booed for dropping a fly ball from Mickey Mantle, Williams spat at one of the fans that was taunting him on the top of the dugout.Montville, p. 197-198 Williams was fined $5,000 for the incident.Montville, p. 198 The next day against Baltimore, Williams was greeted by a large ovation, and received an even larger ovation when he hit a home run in the sixth inning to break a 2 – 2 tie. In The Boston Globe, the publishers ran a "What Globe Readers Say About Ted" section made out of letters about Williams, which were either the sportswriters or the "loud mouths" in the stands. Williams explained years later, "From ’56 on, I realized that people were for me. The writers had written that the fans should show me they didn’t want me, and I got the biggest ovation yet".Montville, p. 199 Williams lost the batting title to Mickey Mantle in 1956, batting .345 to Mantle’s .353, with Mantle on his way to winning the Triple Crown.Williams & Underwood, p. 197

In , Williams batted .388 to lead the Major Leagues, and remarkably at the age of 40 in 1958, he led the American League with a .328 batting average.

When Pumpsie Green became the first black player on the Boston Red Sox in 1959 — the last major league team to integrate its team — Williams openly welcomed Green.

Williams ended his career dramatically, hitting a home run in his very last at-bat on September 28, . The classic John Updike essay "Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu" chronicles this event and is often mentioned among the greatest pieces of sports writing in American journalism.

Williams is one of only 29 players in baseball history to date to have appeared in Major League games in four decades.

Awards and honors

Williams received the following medals and decorations:

number=0|type=oak|ribbon=American Campaign Medal ribbon.svg|width=106}} number=0|type=oak|ribbon=Asiatic-Pacific Campaign ribbon.svg|width=106}} number=0|type=oak|ribbon=World War II Victory Medal ribbon.svg|width=106}} number=0|type=oak|ribbon=Army of Occupation ribbon.svg|width=106}}
number=0|type=oak|ribbon=National Defense Service Medal ribbon.svg|width=106}} number=2|type=service-star|ribbon=KSMRib.svg|width=106}} number=0|type=oak|ribbon=Presidential Unit Citation (Korea).svg|width=106}} number=0|type=oak|ribbon=United Nations Service Medal for Korea Ribbon.svg|width=106}}
Naval Aviator insignia
1st row Air Medal with two silver 5/16 inch stars Navy Unit Commendation Presidential Medal of Freedom
2nd row American Campaign Medal Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with service star World War II Victory Medal Navy Occupation Service Medal
3rd row National Defense Service Medal Korean Service Medal with two service stars Presidential Unit Citation (Korea) United Nations Medal for Korea