Ted “The Kid” Williams was born August 30th, 1918 in San Diego, California. Williams was an American professional baseball player who was arguably one of the best hitters of all time. He finished his MLB career with a lifetime batting average of .344 as an outfielder with the Boston Red Sox. To this day, Williams was the last player to hit .400 in Major League Baseball (.406 in 1941).
From a young age, Williams always excelled in baseball. He led his high school team to multiple state championships. Williams first was signed by a minor league team in the Pacific Coast League. After several seasons in San Diego and Minneapolis, he was brought up to the Red Sox major league team in 1939. In his rookie year, Williams finished with a .327 batting average.
Williams’ second year in the MLB started rough. He ultimately finished the season batting .344, but in the first few months of the season, he struggled. However, his third year was by far the best offensive season in his career. In 1941, Williams hit .406, the highest batting average to this day in the MLB. Following his best season, Williams surprisingly requested a draft deferment in 1942. He decided to enlist in the U.S Navy and entered active duty in November of 1942. In that same year, he won his first Triple Crown.
Williams missed the baseball season of 1943-45 serving and training as a Navy flyer. He ultimately returned to baseball in 1946. Williams returned to baseball just like his old self, hitting .342 in 1946. The next year, Williams won his second Triple Crown. He continued to be dominant for the next handful of years but then was called up for military service in 1952 and 1953. (in those two years, he batted .400 and .407 but these records are not recorded because he only played 43 games in those two seasons).
Williams played his entire career with the Red Sox, recording 2292 total games. He finished his career with a career batting average of .344. Williams also recorded a career on-base percentage of .482, the highest OBP ever recorded in MLB history. He tallied a career total of 521 home runs, 2654 hits, and 1839 RBIs. These are some of the best offensive stats ever considering Williams lost five prime years in the league due to military service. Some say Ted Williams is the best hitter of all time and the stats could certainly back up that statement.
After retiring in 1960, Williams came back to Major League Baseball in 1969, this time as a manager. He managed the Washington Senators, and in his first year, he was awarded American League Manager of the Year. Just a few years later, he left the Senators after they became the Texas Rangers. After his retirement as a manager, he would occasionally work as a hitting coach. His time in the league was now done. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966.
MVPs: 2 (1946, 1949)
Triple Crowns: 2 (1942, 1947)
Batting Titles: 6 (1941, 1942, 1947, 1948, 1957, 1958)
All-Star Appearances: 1940, 1941, 1942, 1946, 1947, 1948 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960)
Ted Williams is arguably the greatest Red Sox player ever, but he never won a World Series with Boston. He came very close in 1946, but ended up losing in Game 7. Despite the fact he never won a World Series, it does not take away the fact that Williams was one of the best to ever play the game.