esight. He would not swing at bad balls and therefore was often walked by pitchers. This talent contributed to his yet-unbroken record of bases on balls, at .482. Williams was also outspoken and hot-tempered and did not cater to fans and sports writers. Yet, he was a staunch supporter of children's charities. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966. Baseball player Ted Williams—nicknamed the Splendid Splinter, Thumper, and Teddy Ballgame—has been called one of the two greatest hitters of all time, along with Babe Ruth . Over his nineteen seasons with the Boston Red Sox, Williams had a .344 batting average, even though he lost nearly five seasons in his prime to service as a combat pilot in World War II and the Korean War. Williams, a left-handed batter, was known for his perfect swing and 20/10 eyWilliams made news of a different kind after his death in July 2002, when his son reportedly shipped Williams's body to Arizona to be cryogenically preserved in order to harvest the great player's DNA.He was the frst
Person to hit 400 as his avrige.He played with the red soxs he lived
In san Diego.At the end of the 1942 season, Williams became a fighter pilot and flight instructor in the U.S. Marine Corps, during World War II. He served through 1945 and returned to the Red Sox in 1946, helping the team win the American League pennant and taking home the MVP award. Although the Red Sox lost the World Series (the only one Williams played in) to the St. Louis Cardinals that year, Williams's reputation as an outstanding hitter grew. He became known as the Splendid Splinter and the Thumper, for his 6'3" rail-thin frame and his power behind the bat.In 1947, Williams won his second Triple Crown but lost the MVP title to DiMaggio by only one vote, a slight by the sportswriters that Williams never forgot. In 1949, he was voted American League MVP for the second time. In 1950, while having a great season, Williams fractured his elbow during the All-Star Game at Comiskey Park in Chicago; he smashed into the wall while catching a fly ball. He finished that game, but the injury cost him more than sixty games, although he played well during the games he did play. He hit .318 in 1951 but then went back into the military service in 1952 and 1953, during the Korean War. After a crash landing of his fighter plane and a bout with pneumonia, he was sent back to the states. He announced his retirement from baseball in 1954 but then changed his mind and stayed on with the Red Sox, because he would have been ineligible for Hall of Fame election on the first ballot if he quit too soon. He suffered a series of injuries in the mid-1950s, but in 1957, at almost forty years old, he hit .388 and became the oldest player to ever win a batting championship. He hit .453 during the second half of the season.43 to serve three yeing World War II. Upon returand "The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived", Williams is regarded as one of the greatest players in baseball history. Williams was also an outstanding fielder, especially in the difficult left field of Fenway Park in Boston, where he played his entire Major League career at that position.
Williams was a seventeen-time All-Star, a two-time recipient of the American League (AL) Most Valuable Player Award, a six-time AL batting champion, and a two-time Triple Crown winner. He finished his playing career with a .344 batting average, 521 home runs, and a 0.482 on-base percentage, the highest of all time. His batting average is the highest of any MLB player with 302 or more home runs.Theodore Samuel Williams (August 30, 1918 – July 5, 2002) was an American professional baseball player and manager. He played his entire 19-year Major League Baseball (MLB) career as a left fielder for the Boston Red Sox from 1939 to 1960, excepting service time during World War II and the Korean War. Nicknamed "The Kid", "The Splendid Splinter", "Teddy Ballgame", "The Thumper" and "The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived", Williams is regarded as one of the greatest players in baseball history. Williams was also an outstanding fielder, especially in the difficult left field of Fenway Park in Boston, where he played his entire Major League career at that position.
Williams was a seventeen-time All-Star, a two-time recipient of the American League (AL) Most Valuable Player Award, a six-time AL batting champion, and a two-time Triple Crown winner. He finished his playing career with a .344 batting average, 521 home runs, and a 0.482 on-base percentage, the highest of all time. His batting average is the highest of any MLB player with 302 or more home runs.
Born and raised in San Diego, Williams played baseball throughout his youth. Joining the Red Sox in 1939, he immediately emerged as one of the sport's best hitters. In 1941, Williams posted a .406 batting average, making him the last MLB player to bat over .400 in a season. He followed this up by winning his first Triple Crown in 1942. Williams interrupted his baseball career in 19ars in the USNavy and US Marine Corps durning to MLB in 1946, Williams won his first AL MVP Award and played in his only World Series. In 1947, he won his second Triple Crown. Williams was returned to active military duty for portions of the 1952 and 1953 seasons to serve as a Marine combat aviator in the Korean War. In 1957 and 1958 at the ages of 39 and 40, respectively, he was the AL batting champion for the fifth and sixth time.
Williams retired from playing in 1960. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966, in his first year of eligibility. Williams managed the Washington Senators/Texas Rangers franchise from 1969 to 1972.
Theodore Samuel Williams (August 30, 1918 – July 5, 2002) was an American professional baseball player and manager. He played his entire 19-year Major League Baseball (MLB) career as a left fielder for the Boston Red Sox from 1939 to 1960, excepting service time during World War II and the Korean War. Nicknamed "The Kid", "The Splendid Splinter", "Teddy Ballgame", "The Thumper"
Born and raised in San Diego, Williams played baseball throughout his youth. Joining the Red Sox in 1939, he immediately emerged as one of the sport's best hitters. In 1941, Williams posted a .406 batting average, making him the last MLB player to bat over .400 in a season. He followed this up by winning his first Triple Crown in 1942. Williams interrupted his baseball career in 1943 to serve three years in the US Navy and US Marine Corps during World War II. Upon returning to MLB in 1946, Williams won his first AL MVP Award and played in his only World Series. In 1947, he won his second Triple Crown. Williams was returned to active military duty for portions of the 1952 and 1953 seasons to serve as a Marine combat aviator in the Korean War. In 1957 and 1958 at the ages of 39 and 40, respectively, he was the AL batting champion for the fifth and sixth time.Ted Williams was born Theodore Samuel Williams (after former President Theodore Roosevelt and his father, Samuel Stuart Williams) in San Diego, California. At some later date he amended his birth certificate, removing his middle name, which he claimed originated from a maternal uncle (whose actual name was Daniel Venzor), who had been killed in World War I. His father was a soldier, sheriff, and photographer from New York, while his mother, May Venzor, a Mexican-American from El Paso, Texas, was an evangelist and lifelong soldier in the Salvation Army. Williams resented his mother's long hours working in the Salvation Army, and Williams and his brother cringed when she took them to the Army's street-corner revivals.
Williams' paternal ancestors were a mix of Welsh and Irish. The maternal, Mexican side of Williams' family was quite diverse, having Spanish (Basque), Russian, and American Indian roots. Of his Mexican ancestry he said that "If I had my mother's name, there is no doubt I would have run into problems in those days, [considering] the prejudices people had in Southern California".
Williams lived in San Diego's North Park neighborhood (4121 Utah Street). At the age of eight, he was taught how to throw a baseball by his uncle, Saul Venzor. Saul was one of his mother's four brothers, as well as a former semi-professional baseball player who had pitched against Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Joe Gordon in an exhibition game.1314 As a child, Williams' heroes were Pepper Martin of the St. Louis Cardinals and Bill Terry of the New York Giants. Williams graduated from Herbert Hoover High School in San Diego, where he played baseball as a pitcher and was the star of the team. Though he had offers from the St. Louis Cardinals and the New York Yankees while he was still in high school, his mother thought he was too young to leave home, so he signed up with the local minor league club, the San Diego Padres.In the second week of spring training in 1941, Williams broke a bone in his right ankle, limiting him to pinch hitting for the first two weeks of the season. Bobby Doerr later claimed that the injury would be the foundation of Williams' season, as it forced him to put less pressure on his right foot for the rest of the season. Against the Chicago White Sox on May 7, in extra innings, Williams told the Red Sox pitcher, Charlie Wagner, to hold the White Sox, since he was going to hit a home run. In the 11th inning, Williams' prediction came true, as he hit a big blast to help the Red Sox win. The home run is still considered to be the longest home run ever hit in the old Comiskey Park, some saying that it went 600 feet (183 meters). Williams' average slowly climbed in the first half of May, and on May 15, he started a 22-game hitting streak. From May 17 to June 1, Williams batted .536, with his season average going above .400 on May 25 and then continuing up to .430. By the All-Star break, Williams was hitting .406 with 62 RBIs and 16 home runs.
In the 1941 All-Star Game, Williams batted fourth behind Joe DiMaggio, who was in the midst of his record-breaking hitting streak, having hit safely in 48 consecutive games. In the fourth inning Williams doubled to drive in a run. With the National League (NL) leading 5-2 in the eighth inning, Williams struck out in the middle of an American League (AL) rally. In the ninth inning the AL still trailed 5-3; Ken Keltner and Joe Gordon singled, and Cecil Travis walked to load the bases. DiMaggio grounded to the infield and Billy Herman, attempting to complete a double play, threw wide of first base, allowing Keltner to score. With the score 5-4 and runners on first and third, Williams homered with his eyes closed to secure a 7-5 AL win. Williams later said that that game-winning home run "remains to this day the most thrilling hit of my life".
In late August, Williams was hitting .402. Williams said that "just about everybody was rooting for me" to hit .400 in the season, including Yankee fans, who gave pitcher Lefty Gomez a "hell of a boo" after walking Williams with the bases loaded after Williams had gotten three straight hits one game in September. In mid-September, Williams was hitting .413, but dropped a point a game from then on. Before the final two games on September 28, a doubleheader against the Philadelphia Athletics, he was batting .39955, which would have been officially rounded up to .400. Red Sox manager Joe Cronin offered him the chance to sit out the final day, but he declined. "If I'm going to be a .400 hitter", he said at the time, "I want more than my toenails on the line." Williams went 6-for-8 on the day, finishing the season at .406. (Sacrifice flies were counted as at-bats in 1941; under today's rules, Williams would have hit between .411 and .419, based on contemporaneous game accounts.) Philadelphia fans ran out on the field to surround Williams after the game, forcing him to protect his hat from being stolen; he was helped into the clubhouse by his teammates. Along with his .406 average, Williams also hit 37 home runs and batted in 120 runs, missing the triple crown by five RBI.
Williams' 1941 season is often considered to be the best offensive season of all time, though the MVP award would go to DiMaggio. The .406 batting average—his first of six batting championships—is still the highest single-season average in Red Sox history and the highest batting average in the major leagues since 1924, and the last time any major league player has hit over .400 for a season after averaging at least 3.1 plate appearances per game. ("If I had known hitting .400 was going to be such a big deal", he quipped in 1991, "I would have done it again.") Williams' on-base percentage of .553 and slugging percentage of .735 that season are both also the highest single-season averages in Red Sox history. The .553 OBP stood as a major league record until it was broken by Barry Bonds in 2002 and his .735 slugging percentage was highest mark in the major leagues between 1932 and 1994. His OPS of 1.287 that year, a Red Sox record, was the highest in the major leagues between 1923 and 2001. Williams led the league with 135 runs scored and 37 home runs, and he finished third with 335 total bases, the most home runs, runs scored, and total bases by a Red Sox player since Jimmie Foxx's in 1938. Williams placed second in MVP voting; DiMaggio won, 291 votes to 254, on the strength of his record-breaking 56-game hitting streak and league-leading 125 RBI.
In January 1942, after World War II began, Williams was drafted into the military, being put into Class 1-A. A friend of Williams suggested that Williams see the advisor of the Governor's Selective Service Appeal Agent, since Williams was the sole support of his mother, arguing that Williams should not have been placed in Class 1-A, and said Williams should be reclassified to Class 3-A. The attorney took the case to the Appeals Board and the board rejected the case. Angry, the attorney took the case to the Presidential Board. Williams was reclassified to 3-A ten days later. Afterwards, the public reaction was extremely negative. Quaker Oats stopped sponsoring Williams, and Williams, who previously had eaten Quaker products "all the time", never "[ate] one since" the company stopped sponsoring him.
Despite the trouble with the draft board, Williams had a new salary of $30,000 in 1942. In the season, Williams won the Triple Crown, with a .356 batting average, 36 home runs, and 137 RBIs. On May 21, Williams also hit his 100th career home run. He was the third Red Sox player to hit 100 home runs with the team, following his teammates Jimmie Foxx and Joe Cronin. Despite winning the Triple Crown, Williams came in second in the MVP voting, losing to Joe Gordon of the Yankees. Williams felt that he should have gotten a "little more consideration" because of winning the Triple Crown, and he thought that "the reason I didn't get more consideration was because of the trouble I had with the draft [boards]".
Williams joined the Navy Reserve on May 22, 1942, went on active duty in 1943, and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps as a Naval Aviator on May 2, 1944. Williams also played on the baseball team in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, along with his Red Sox teammate Johnny Pesky in pre-flight training, after eight weeks in Amherst, Massachusetts, and the Civilian Pilot Training Course. While on the baseball team, Williams was sent back to Fenway Park on July 12, 1943 to play on an All-Star team managed by Babe Ruth. The newspapers reported that Babe Ruth said when finally meeting Williams, "Hiya, kid. You remind me a lot of myself. I love to hit. You're one of the most natural ballplayers I've ever seen. And if my record is broken, I hope you're the one to do it". Williams later said he was "flabbergasted" by the incident, as "after all, it was Babe Ruth". In the game, Williams hit a 425-foot home run to help give the American League All-Stars a 9-8 win.
On August 18, 1945, when the war ended, Lt. Williams was sent to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. While in Pearl Harbor, Williams played baseball in the Army League. Also in that eight-team league were Joe DiMaggio, Joe Gordon, and Stan Musial. The Service World Series with the Army versus the Navy attracted crowds of 40,000 for each game. The players said it was even better than the actual World Series being played between the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs that year.
Williams was discharged by the Marine Corps on January 28, 1946, in time to begin preparations for the upcoming pro baseball season. He joined the Red Sox again in 1946, signing a $37,500 contract. On July 14, after Williams hit three home runs and eight RBIs in the first game of a doubleheader, Lou Boudreau, inspired by Williams' consistent pull hitting to right field, created what would later be known as the Boudreau shift (also Williams shift) against Williams, having only one player on the left side of second base (the left fielder). Ignoring the shift, Williams walked twice and grounded out to second base. Also during 1946, the All-Star Game was held in Fenway Park. In the game, Williams homered in the fourth inning against Kirby Higbe, singled in a run in the fifth inning, singled in the seventh inning, and hit a three-run home run against Rip Sewell's notorious "eephus pitch" in the eighth inning to help the American League win 12 – 0.
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. Williams ran away as the winner in the MVP voting. 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. 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. 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..
In the off-season between the 1946 and 1947 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 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. 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", 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.
Through 2011, Williams was one of seven major league players to have had at least four 30-home run and 100-RBI seasons in their first five years, along with Chuck Klein, Joe DiMaggio, Ralph Kiner, Mark Teixeira, Albert Pujols, and Ryan Braun.
In 1948, under their new manager Joe McCarthy 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.
In 1949, Williams got a new salary of $100,000 ($1,007,000 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, and at one point, he got on base in 84 straight games, an MLB record that still stands today, helping him win the MVP trophy. 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. 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.
In 1950, Williams was playing in his eighth All-Star Game. In the first inning, Williams caught a line drive by Ralph Kiner, slamming into the Comiskey Park scoreboard and breaking his left arm. Williams played the rest of the game, and he even singled in a run to give the American League the lead in the eighth inning, but by that time Williams' arm was a "balloon" and he was in great pain, so he left the game. Both of the doctors who X-rayed Williams held little hope for a full recovery. The doctors operated on Williams for two hours. When Williams took his cast off, he could only extend the arm to within four inches of his right arm. Williams only played 89 games in 1950. After the baseball season, Williams' elbow hurt so much he considered retirement, since he thought he would never be able to hit again. Tom Yawkey, the Red Sox owner, then sent Jack Fadden to Williams' Florida home to talk to Williams. Williams later thanked Fadden for saving his career.
In 1951, Williams "struggled" to hit .318, with his elbow still hurting. Williams also played in 148 games, sixty more than Williams had played the previous season, 30 home runs, two more than he had hit in 1950, and 126 RBIs, twenty-nine more than 1950. Despite his lower-than-usual production at bat, Williams made the All-Star team. On May 15, 1951, Williams became the 11th player in major league history to hit 300 career home runs. On May 21, Williams passed Chuck Klein for 10th place, on May 25 Williams passed Rogers Hornsby for 9th place, and on July 5 Williams passed Al Simmons for 8th place all-time in career home runs. After the season, manager Steve O'Neill was fired, with Lou Boudreau replacing him. Boudreau's first announcement as manager was that all Red Sox players were "expendable", including Williams.
U.S. Marine Corps, Korea (1952–1953)
Williams name was called from a list of inactive reserves to serve on active duty in the Korean War on January 9, 1952. Williams, who was livid at his recalling, had a physical scheduled for April 2. Williams passed his physical and in May, after only playing in six major league games, began refresher flight training and qualification prior to service in Korea. Right before he left for Korea, the Red Sox had a "Ted Williams Day" in Fenway Park. Friends of Williams gave him a Cadillac, and the Red Sox gave Williams a memory book that was signed by 400,000 fans. The governor of Massachusetts and mayor of Boston were there, along with a wheelchair-bound Korean War veteran named Frederick Wolf. At the end of the ceremony, everyone in the park held hands and sang "Auld Lang Syne" to Williams, a moment which he later said "moved me quite a bit." Private Wolf, Injured Korean veteran from Brooklyn.On May 1, 1952, 14 months after his promotion to Captain in the Marine Corps Reserve, Williams was recalled to active duty for service in the Korean War. He had not flown any aircraft for eight years but he turned down all offers to sit out the war in comfort as a member of a service baseball team. Nevertheless, Williams was resentful of being called up, which he admitted years later, particularly regarding the Navy's policy of calling up Inactive Reservists rather than members of the Active Reserve.
After eight weeks of refresher flight training and qualification in the F9F Panther jet fighter at the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, Williams was assigned to VMF-311, Marine Aircraft Group 33 (MAG-33), based at the K-3 airfield in Pohang, South Korea.
On February 16, 1953, Williams was part of a 35-plane raid against a tank and infantry training school just south of Pyongyang, North Korea. During the mission, a piece of flak knocked out his hydraulics and electrical systems, causing Williams to have to "limp" his plane back to K-13, a U.S. Air Force airfield close to the front lines. For his actions of this day, he was awarded the Air Medal.
Williams stayed on K-13 for several days while his plane was being repaired. Because he was so popular, GIs and airmen from all around the base came to see him and his plane. After it was repaired, Williams flew his plane back to his Marine Corps airfield.
Williams flew 39 combat missions in Korea, earning the Air Medal with two Gold Stars in lieu of second and third awards, before being withdrawn from flight status in June 1953 after a hospitalization for pneumonia. This resulted in the discovery of an inner ear infection that disqualified him from flight status. During the Korean War, Williams also served in the same Marine Corps unit with John Glenn; the future astronaut described Williams as one of the best pilots he knew, while his wife Annie described him as the most profane man she ever met. In the last half of his missions, Williams was flying as Glenn's wingman.
Williams likely would have approached or exceeded Babe Ruth's home run record if he had not served in the military, and might have set the record for career RBIs as well, exceeding Hank Aaron's total. While the absences in the Marine Corps took almost five years out of his baseball career, he never publicly complained about the time devoted to service in the Marine Corps. His biographer, Leigh Montville, argued that Williams was not happy about being pressed into service in South Korea, but he did what he thought was his patriotic duty.
Following his return to the United States in August 1953, he resigned his Reserve commission to resume his baseball career.[133.
After retirement from play, Williams helped Boston's new left fielder, Carl Yastrzemski, in hitting, and was a regular visitor to the Red Sox' spring training camps from 1961 to 1966, where he worked as a special batting instructor. He served as executive assistant to Tom Yawkey (1961–65), then was named a team vice president (1965–68) upon his election to the Hall of Fame. He resumed his spring training instruction role with the club in 1978.
Williams served as manager of the Washington Senators, from 1969–1971, then continued with the team when they became the Texas Rangers after the 1971 season. Williams' best season as a manager was 1969 when he led the expansion Senators to an 86–76 record in the team's only winning season in Washington. He was chosen "Manager of the Year" after that season. Like many great players, Williams became impatient with ordinary athletes' abilities and attitudes, particularly those of pitchers, whom he admitted he never respected. He occasionally appeared at Red Sox spring training as a guest hitting instructor. Williams would also go into a partnership with friend Al Cassidy to form the Ted Williams Baseball Camp in Lakeville, Massachusetts. It was not uncommon to find Williams fishing in the pond at the camp.The Tampa Bay Rays home field, Tropicana Field, installed the Ted Williams Museum (formerly in Hernando, Florida,( 1994–2006) behind the left field fence. From the Tampa Bay Rays website: "The Ted Williams Museum and Hitters Hall of Fame brings a special element to the Tropicana Field. Fans can view an array of different artifacts and pictures of the 'Greatest hitter that ever lived.' These memorable displays range from Ted Williams' days in the military through his professional playing career. This museum is dedicated to some of the greatest players to ever 'lace 'em up,' including Willie Mays, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris.At the time of his retirement, Williams ranked third all-time in home runs (behind Babe Ruth and Jimmie Foxx), seventh in RBIs (after Ruth, Cap Anson, Lou Gehrig, Ty Cobb, Foxx, and Mel Ott; Stan Musial passed Williams in 1962), and seventh in batting average (behind Cobb, Rogers Hornsby, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Lefty O'Doul, Ed Delahanty and Tris Speaker). His career batting average is the highest of any player who played his entire career in the live-ball era following 1920.After his retirement, the memories of his difficulties with fans slowly retreated, while the memories of his amazing career, and his honorable military service became more and more prominent. By the time he threw out the first pitch for the 1999 all-star game, he was revered as a baseball treasure, as the game’s best current players mobbed Williams to touch and talk to the game’s biggest star.Williams’ goal was never to be beloved. He took his hitting into the outfield early in his career--he’d practice swings between pitches. Those kind of quirks and some signs of defensive indifference didn’t always endear him to Red Sox’ fans. His relationship with the Boston community wasn’t helped by along-running feud between Williams and much of the Boston media. The newspapermen didn’t make Williams’ life any easier, but Williams didn’t help himself with his legendary stubborness. The same personality that ensured he could remember a pitch that struck him out three months before was not going to forget any slights inflicted by a hostile press.3,000 hits. After missing the all-star game as a rookie, Williams was an all-star in every non-military interrupted season of the rest of his career. He wasn’t just being grandfathered in. In his final season, 1960, as a 41-year-old, he hit .316 with 29 home runs. His body may have been failing him, but his ability to hit never left.He did all of it despite missing most of five seasons due to military service. He learned to fly fighter planes during World War II, working as an instructor from 1943-1945. He was recalled to duty in 1952 during the height of the Korean War, and he served in Korea for more than a year, flying combat missions in a Marine fighter jet.He won six batting titles, but that doesn’t really explain his mastery at the plate. Thanks to an excellent batting eye, Williams led the American League in on-base percentage seven straight years and 12 times overall. His .482 career on-base percentage is the best of all time. And he wasn’t just doing it with walks and singles. Williams led the AL in home runs four times, and his .634 career slugging percentage is second to only Ruth.He accomplished his goal. Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron may have been better power hitters. You could argue that the graceful Joe DiMaggio or Willie Mays was a better all-around player. If you’re talking about the greatest hitter that ever stepped into the batters box, the discussion begins with the long-time Red Sox left fielder.He accomplished his goal. Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron may have been better power hitters. You could argue that the graceful Joe DiMaggio or Willie Mays was a better all-around player. If you’re talking about the greatest hitter that ever stepped into the batters box, the discussion begins with the long-time Red Sox left fielder.Williams wrote the book on hitting--his “The Science Of Hitting” disproves the adage that great hitters can’t teach hitting.He is my hero because he was the greatest hiter of all time.