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-   -   Sixty years sgo today... (http://www.net54baseball.com/showthread.php?t=289667)

egri 09-28-2020 04:01 AM

Sixty years sgo today...
 
Sixty years ago today, Ted Williams went out with a home run in his last at-bat. John Updike’s piece about it, Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu, is one of my favorite pieces of baseball literature.

tedzan 09-28-2020 09:07 PM

Ted Williams
 
As a very young kid, I watched Ted Williams play from 1947 to 1960. I was an ardent fan of Ted. Even though, I was an avid Yankees fan. This article you referred us to is "unreadable".
It is typical of the miserable media in Boston that Williams was subject to for most of his career.

Ted Williams could have been "There goes the greatest hitter who ever lived." if he hadn't been so stubborn about not slicing hits into Left Field when the pitch was on the outside corner.
Regarding his statistics, if you do the math, Ted's career Batting Average increases to approx. .380 (well above Cobb's career BA).

Back in the 1980's, I was fortunate to meet Ted on two occasions. First time was at the Philly Show in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. He was very friendly, and we were Talkin" BaseBall for
about 30 minutes.
The 2nd instance was in Cooperstown on HOF weekend (circa 1987). He remembered me as we were approaching each other on Main Street. We stopped and talked for about an hour.
I told Ted when I was a kid, I used to root for him to hit a HR in Yankee Stadium's RF upper deck (which he did quite a number of times). Ted then said..."I don't understand ?"....since
I had previously told him I was a Yankees fan. I replied..."It didn't matter Ted, I knew the Yankees would win the Pennant, anyhow." Ted cracked-up laughing for a moment. Then Ted's
expression became very serious, and he said..."If your neighbor, Phil Rizzuto, was playing for the Red Sox, we would have been the AL Champions all those years."...Ted considered Phil
Rizzuto's all-around ability (Hitting, Fielding, etc.) as being about the best in the game. He elucidated on this for about 10 minutes. Incidentally, our home was just 2-blocks away from
the Rizzuto residence in Hillside, NJ.

Then, I engaged him into talking about his BaseBall cards, and he told me really interesting background story regarding the 1959 FLEER set of him (which I will leave for another day).


TED Z

T206 Reference
.

Snapolit1 09-28-2020 09:41 PM

Ted - you have the best stories on the board. Would be great if you wrote them up somewhere or did an interview at least. Seems like you have met many of the great ones.


Quote:

Originally Posted by tedzan (Post 2021522)
As a very young kid, I watched Ted Williams play from 1947 to 1960. I was an ardent fan of Ted. Even though, I was an avid Yankees fan. This article you referred us to is "unreadable".
It is typical of the miserable media in Boston that Williams was subject to for most of his career.

Ted Williams could have been "There goes the greatest hitter who ever lived." if he hadn't been so stubborn about not slicing hits into Left Field when the pitch was on the outside corner.
Regarding his statistics, if you do the math, Ted's career Batting Average increases to approx. .380 (well above Cobb's career BA).

Back in the 1980's, I was fortunate to meet Ted on two occasions. First time was at the Philly Show in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. He was very friendly, and we were Talkin" BaseBall for
about 30 minutes.
The 2nd instance was in Cooperstown on HOF weekend (circa 1987). He remembered me as we were approaching each other on Main Street. We stopped and talked for about an hour.
I told Ted when I was a kid, I used to root for him to hit a HR in Yankee Stadium's RF upper deck (which he did quite a number of times). Ted then said..."I don't understand ?"....since
I had previously told him I was a Yankees fan. I replied..."It didn't matter Ted, I knew the Yankees would win the Pennant, anyhow." Ted cracked-up laughing for a moment. Then Ted's
expression became very serious, and he said..."If your neighbor, Phil Rizzuto, was playing for the Red Sox, we would have been the AL Champions all those years."...Ted considered Phil
Rizzuto's all-around ability (Hitting, Fielding, etc.) as being about the best in the game. He elucidated on this for about 10 minutes. Incidentally, our home was just 2-blocks away from
the Rizzuto residence in Hillside, NJ.

Then, I engaged him into talking about his BaseBall cards, and he told me really interesting background story regarding the 1959 FLEER set of him (which I will leave for another day).


TED Z

T206 Reference
.


Hot Springs Bathers 09-29-2020 08:08 AM

Ted please tell us the Fleer story!

tedzan 09-29-2020 02:07 PM

Ted Williams
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Hot Springs Bathers (Post 2021592)
Ted please tell us the Fleer story!

Mike....Stayed tuned, I will post the Fleer story later today.

For now.....I'd like to post this story that I told a Net54 "reader" who emailed me last night, asking me why Ted Williams thought so highly of Phil Rizzuto's game.
Ted Williams mentioned several factors which impressed him with Rizzuto's play. One factor that stood out in my mind was Phil's lead-off effectiveness by starting
a given inning getting on base. Whether by hitting a solid single, bunting, walking, or inadvertently getting hit by a pitch.
There's an old axiom in BaseBall that when the lead-off batter in an inning gets on base, he will score 3 out of 4 times. This amazing fact remains true since 1901.

Furthermore, Williams was impressed with "The Scooter's" fielding performance and how he could turn more Double Plays than an other Short Stop in the League.

It's my understanding that Williams was very influential in getting Rizzuto into the HOF.


TED Z

T206 Reference
.

Snapolit1 09-29-2020 05:23 PM

Ted - do you think Rizzuto deserves the HOF? Interested in your thoughts. Obviously he is pretty prominent on many lists of guys who are in the HOF and don't deserve it. But of course everyone is entitled to their opinion. Just curious.

tedzan 09-29-2020 07:58 PM

Ted Williams
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Hot Springs Bathers (Post 2021592)
Ted please tell us the Fleer story!


Ted and I did a lot of reminiscing about BB in the late 1940's and the 1950's. I mostly listened while Ted did most of the talking. Boy did he love to talk.
Our conversation regarding BB cards started when I showed Ted my 1954 BOWMAN Ted Williams card (shown here). While he looked at it, I mentioned
to him that it was his most valuable card, since it's quite rare. I asked him if he knew why the BOWMAN GUM Co. discontinued it. He did not know.

With a twinkle in his eyes, Ted started talking about the 1959 FLEER set of cards. In 1958, FLEER contacted Ted to do a series of cards depicting his life
story. FLEER offered $500 to Ted if he would grant them the Rights. Ted's agent contacted Sy Berger (TOPPS executive), who was "furious" (Berger was
an avid Williams fan). So, Berger counter-offered with $1000. FLEER responded with a $2000 offer. Berger raised the ante to $3000. I'll never forget the
enthusiasm in Ted's voice as he continued with this story....he was like a kid. This bidding war went back and forth till FLEER raised the offer to $5000.
At that point Berger relented. FLEER produced a beautiful set of 80 cards honoring Ted. And, Ted was $5000 richer.

Ted said to me.... " Ted, can you believe this, $5000 for the Rights to print a set of little BB cards of me ? "

I replied to Ted...." that's an awesome story, $5000 was my Dad's annual salary back in 1958. "

Ted, laughing, responded...." you're darn right, that was a lot of money back then. "


https://photos.imageevent.com/tedzan...edwilliams.jpg



Here's the rare #68 card (Ted signs for 1959) on a 4+ card panel from an original uncut 1959 Fleer sheet

http://photos.imageevent.com/tedzan7...TWx68panel.jpg



Before seeing action in the Korean conflict, in 1952 Ted took flight training at the Willow Grove Naval Air Base (which is only a 20-minute drive from our house).

http://photos.imageevent.com/tedzan7...itarypix25.jpg



TED Z

T206 Reference
.

Hot Springs Bathers 09-29-2020 08:21 PM

Great stuff!

tedzan 09-30-2020 07:41 AM

Ted Williams
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Snapolit1 (Post 2021728)
Ted - do you think Rizzuto deserves the HOF? Interested in your thoughts. Obviously he is pretty prominent on many lists of guys who are in the HOF and don't deserve it. But of course everyone is entitled to their opinion. Just curious.


Hi Steve

You are asking the wrong guy. I cannot give you an objective opinion regarding Phil Rizzuto. When we were young dudes in our neighborhood (Hillside, NJ), on Monday nights
we would get together in the gym of St. Catherine's Catholic Church for Catholic Youth Organization meeting. Monday was usually an off-day if the Yankees were in town. Phil
Rizzuto would attend and entertain us with lots of BaseBall talk....answer our questions....and, instruct us on how to play the game (hitting, bunting, stealing bases, fielding).

As a youngster, I watched Rizzuto play from 1947 to 1956. The Yankees were Champions in 8 of those years simply because they had the greatest group of team players BB
has ever seen. And, a Manager who knew how to play them, Casey Stengel (1949 - 1956). Phil Rizzuto was one of their key players who was instrumental to their success.

Therefore, if you would like an objective answer to your question...... " do you think Rizzuto deserves the HOF ? "......Ted Williams would have been the Ted to ask.


TED Z

T206 Reference
.


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