Ted Williams: 1918-2002


Probably the second best hitter of all time.

Oh yes, I forgot this bit:

On Feb. 19, 1953, flying low on a bombing run far above the 38th parallel, Williams’ F-9 Panther was hit by small arms fire and started leaking hydraulic fluid. With his plane shaking badly (he didn’t know it was also on fire), his control panel lit up with warning lights, and his radio dead, Williams followed a fellow pilot back to base, flying without hydraulics and wrestling his stick all the way.

Approaching the landing field, an on-board explosion blew off one of the wheel doors and Williams was forced to land his crippled jet at 225 miles-an-hour and on one wheel. When the F-9 finally came to a stop at the end of the runway after skidding over 2,000 feet, Williams walked away from the burning wreck as firemen hosed it down with foam. Fortunate but enraged, he reacted to nearly auguring in as if he had just popped out with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth – he yanked off his helmet and slammed it to the ground.


Yep. A great ball-player. He created seven more runs per game than his contemporaries (on average), and missed three or four prime seasons to military service. He won the Triple Crown in 1942, then off to war. When he gets back in 1946, he hits .348 with 38 dingers and 120 rbi.

Add an average of thirty home runs for those lost years and he has over 600. Not to mention the two lost seasons served in Korea.

>He created seven more runs per game than his contemporaries (on average),

Huh?Ted was a great hitter,and an all around man’s man(He always seemed to me to be like the mythical figure of John Wayne,rather than John Wayne,the real human being…),but the above statement is ludicrous.Where did that come from…?


The city mourns…

If you check it now you’ll see the live scoring of the game above the obit article. Ted was Red Sox baseball.

Who’s better? Ruth? I’d personally take Williams.

I think Mays is the best living all-around ballplayer and is the bridge player from the old-school to the modern one. He was even that when Williams was alive (and Dimaggio as well, for that matter), but man… Williams could hit. He was the best hitter of all time. A great, great swing. Give him back the five years he served in WWII and Korea and he would likely have had nearly 700 homers.

Who’s better? Ruth? I’d personally take Williams.[/quote]

I would say Rod Carew.

Rod Carew? He hit like a girl – one with fast reflexes and a great batting eye, but a girl nonetheless.

I believe they are referring to Ty Cobb - .367 batting average + over 4,000 hits. From what I have read / seen he was a complete a-hole but a great ball player.


I’m of the “hitters should be measured entirely in runs directly or indirectly produced, as that’s what wins games” school. The OPS stat seems like the best proxy for that around. For those of you who don’t know:

On-base percentage = hits + walks + hit-by-pitcher.
Slugging percentage = average number of “bases” gained per at-bat, counting walks + hit-by-pitcher as one.
OPS = On-base percentage + Slugging percentage.

That OPS values players like Ichiro really badly just points out how good it is; Ichiro doesn’t produce that well from the plate. It doesn’t include stolen bases, of course, because that’s not a component of hitting.

Williams did have the best on-base percentage ever, but Ruth’s sheer power in slugging overcomes the advantage. It’s interesting to look on that list and see some of the players that were absolute monsters that no one seems to know about, like Hank Greenberg.

You can make a case that Ruth was the guy who transformed the game into one where home runs mattered, and shouldn’t be counted, but eh.[/i]

Oh, that was me, I keep forgetting to log in.

Ruth had Gehrig behind him for a long time… so its obvious Ruth had the inflated stats. But even then, you cant beat the Bambino. If you look at his stats comparable to the people he played with its even MORE amazing. AND considering he was a pitcher who almost won the home run crown at the same time! Not a bad pitcher too…

But even then Williams is great. They dont call it a ‘Ted Williams swing’ for nothing. ITs quite possible that if he wasnt in the service he could have had been the home run leader. He basically went to war in his prime. Also consider that he has been interviewed countless times and says he was gyped… meaning they paid him shit… like the rest of the major league players of that time.

BTW, a person who swings like Ted Williams… Barry Bonds. Too bad Barry Bonds is a baby! But hes got the most home runs in a season so it cant be all that bad being a dick!


Considering that Williams lost 5 of his prime years to WWII and Korea, I’m comfortable calling him the best hitter ever. Something to keep in mind about him, he compiled all those numbers as left-handed hitter who played his entire career in a right-handed hitter’s park.

BTW, Carew was a great hitter, but by any measure, his stats pale in comparison to Williams.

Williams would have come close to 700 HRs if he hadn’t missed action for military duty. He probably would have played another year to break Ruth’s record if he was close.

Of course we likely have 2-3 eventual 700 HR hitters playing right now – Bonds, Sosa, and Griffey, though Griffey needs to get over the injury bug.

Ok, George Brett then.

Also, the Sac Fly rule wasn’t in affect during Williams’ career. Considering that, and assuming he had just 10 sac flies during that record year, his average jumps to .415. That’s pretty fucking incredible.

What’s the sacrifice fly rule?

A sacrifice fly is a fly ball out that scores a runner tagging up from 3rd base. Current baseball rules award the batter an RBI but do not charge him with an at bat, so his average doesn’t dip because of the out–the reasoning is it is at least a productive plate appearance.

In Williams’ day, the batter was charged with an AB (they got the RBI too) but the out/AB combo lowered the hitter’s average. So…Ted Williams lost points on his average back then, when according to modern baseball rules he wouldn’t have and thus his batting average would have been higher.

Baseball’s rule changes are funny things. Ever wonder where that baseball saying “A walk is as good as a hit” came from? Not because hitters were grateful just to get on base–in early baseball, a walk was counted as a hit and figured into your average.




According to Baseball Digest, Williams drove in a runner from third base with a fly out six times in 1941, being charged under the rules of the day with an out each time. Deducting those six outs from his batting average calculation with would leave him with .411 (as opposed to his official .406).