Birthday: Boston Red Sox Hall of Famer, Ted Williams (1918-2002) would have been 99 today.
Here’s a brief history of Ted Williams, courtesy of Biography.com
Baseball star Ted Williams was born in San Diego, California, in 1918. A gifted hitter, Williams made his Major League debut with the Boston Red Sox at age 20 in 1939. Over the next two decades, Williams became one of the game’s all-time great hitters. He retired from baseball in 1960 and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966. Williams died on July 5, 2002, in Inverness, Florida.
Theodore Samuel Williams was born on August 30, 1918, in San Diego, California. Williams is widely considered one of baseball’s all-time great players. His childhood was shaped by the absence of his parents in much of his life. His father worked often, first as a photographer, and later as a U.S. Marshal. His mother was a strong-willed woman who considered alcohol to be evil. Some nights, Ted and his brother Danny had to sit outside until their parents came home to let them in the house around 10 p.m.
Over the next few summers, Williams played for the Padres. After a stellar 1937 season, the Boston Red Sox signed him to a two-year deal. Optioned to the club’s minor league team in Minneapolis, Williams tore the cover off the ball in 1938, taking home the league’s Triple Crown by leading all hitters in hitting (.366), home runs (43) and RBIs (142).
Big League Career
In 1939, Ted Williams made his debut as a member of the Red Sox. His hitting prowess didn’t let up, and the 20-year-old outfielder—who was affectionately dubbed “The Kid”—led the American League in RBIs with 145 and finished fourth in MVP voting.
Ornery and difficult to deal with, Williams never had a cozy relationship with the press or Boston fans, who shunned the athlete when he didn’t give a strong performance. In turn, Williams never tipped his hat to the crowd until he gave a speech to Red Sox fans in 1991.
Still, it proved to be a tearful goodbye when Williams hung up his cleats for good in September 1960. As usual, however, Williams went out in style, belting a home run into Fenway Park’s bleacher seats in his final at-bat. Overall, Williams finished with a career average of .344—the sixth highest since 1990—and 521 home runs.
In 1966, he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.