An article on the Red Sox web site (part of my daily reading) reminded me of the historic day in baseball history on tap tomorrow, the 50th anniversary of Ted WIlliams last at bat.
September 28, 1960 and #9. Forever intertwined in history.
'The splendid splinter.'
'The John Wayne of baseball.'
September 28, 1960 was the stage for WIlliams final at bat at Fenway Park and the inspiration for John Updike's famous story in the New Yorker on the event. Both are two of my favorite moments in baseball history.
I still marvel at the statistics Williams put up in his final year playing for a dismal Sox team: .316 avg, 29 home runs, 72 RBI, .451 OBP with 75 walks. Better than many folks in their prime in less legendary careers. Williams overall statistical achievements are hard to fathom, especially in light that he lost three full seasons in his prime to military service (1943, 44 and 45).
As baseball folk go, Williams swing is… poetry in motion. The quick load. The approach to the ball. The balance. The follow through. Poetry.
Looking all this over again reminds me of the chills I felt watching Williams appearance at Fenway Park during the All-Star game in 1999, the swan song for a baseball legend.
Was Ted Williams the greatest hitter that ever lived? If I were writing thee lineup card… you bet he'd be on it.