Ted Williams: My Life in Pictures

Overview

In October 2000, just weeks before he entered the hospital for heart surgery, Ted Williams sat down at his kitchen table in Hernando, Fla., with award-winning author and baseball historian David Pietrusza, and reviewed hundreds of photographs. Many of the photos were drawn from the Williams family collection by his son John-Henry, including images dating back to Ted's childhood.

Ted currently is recovering from the surgery in San Diego, and Total Sports Publishing has published ...

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Overview

In October 2000, just weeks before he entered the hospital for heart surgery, Ted Williams sat down at his kitchen table in Hernando, Fla., with award-winning author and baseball historian David Pietrusza, and reviewed hundreds of photographs. Many of the photos were drawn from the Williams family collection by his son John-Henry, including images dating back to Ted's childhood.

Ted currently is recovering from the surgery in San Diego, and Total Sports Publishing has published the result of those kitchen-table sessions. ``Ted Williams: My Life in Pictures'' by Ted Williams with David Pietrusza is the definitive pictorial autobiography of the greatest living baseball player.

Featuring more than 250 images, many of them never before published, ``Ted Williams: My Life in Pictures'' is the story of a true American hero. The earthy timbre of Williams's voice rings true on every page as he recounts his remarkable life. The book progresses from his boyhood years in San Diego, through his unparalleled major league career-twice interrupted by military service—to his eventful years after his retirement from baseball, including his induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, a managerial stint with the Washington Senators, and a well-earned reputation as one of the world's finest fisherman.

For example:

* On hitting: "The idea is pretty simple: get your pitch-and when it arrives swing at it. Certain areas, certain choices, make you a .400 hitter, a .350 hitter. Other areas, it's the pitcher's game. So when you have a choice-on that first pitch, or when you're ahead 1-and-0, 2-and-0, 3-and-0, lay off the pitches you can't hit well, where the oddsaren't in your favor."

* On being inducted into the Hall of Fame: "I can't say it was a surprise I was elected. No, I did deserve it, and there was no way the writers could ignore my numbers—what I had accomplished, what I had worked to accomplish. But there was the question back then if you'd go in first ballot or not. DiMaggio took three ballots. DiMaggio! Hank Greenberg, Jimmie Foxx—not first ballot! So even though I wasn't really surprised, I've got to say I was still moved. How can you not be moved?"

* On tipping his cap to the Boston fans on Ted Williams Day in 1991: "I thought I'd give the fans a little surprise. I hid a Red Sox cap in my pocket and reached in and tipped it to the fans. I did it, as I said [then], so they can never write, ever again that I was hard-headed, so they can never write again that I never tipped my hat to the crowd, today I tip my hat. I tip my hat to all the people in New England, the greatest sports fans on earth."

In words and pictures, ``Ted Williams: My Life in Pictures'' uniquely captures the man behind the legend, and is a fitting tribute to baseball greatest living player.

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Editorial Reviews

Jonh Mark Eberhart
No one has ever accused baseball great Ted Williams of being modest, and if they did, he'd probably take offense. The last man to hit .400 is at his typical cocky best in Ted Williams: My Life in Pictures, which he "wrote" with David Pietrusza.
Kansas City Star
Library Journal
The dominant hitter of his talented generation and last man to bat .400 for a season (.406, in fact), Williams in later life threw himself just as competitively into sport fishing, achieving membership in both the Baseball and Freshwater Fishing halls of fame. This new book of reminiscences features over 300 images, many previously unpublished. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781930844070
  • Publisher: Total Sports Publishing
  • Publication date: 5/28/2001
  • Pages: 201
  • Product dimensions: 9.42 (w) x 12.31 (h) x 0.83 (d)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2001

    Engaging Photographs and Brief Anecdotes

    This book will be ideal for those who know relatively little about Ted Williams, yet are Red Sox fans. The combination of over 250 photographs and recent reminiscences make you feel like you are sitting around the kitchen table with Mr. Williams swapping stories about his life while you enjoy a cool beverage. The anecdotes have a crisp conversational tone that seems to have often emerged with little editing from a tape recorder. That makes the book more spontaneous than if it were dressed up to be a formal autobiography. Some of my favorite stories in the book include: Choosing not to sit out the doubleheader at the end of the 1941 season when he already had batted .400. He went 6 for 8 that day, and increased his average to the league-leading .407. His frequent heroics in All-Star games (including hitting the eephus pitch for a home run while going 4/4 in 1946). Crash landing his plane after being hit by small arms fire and starting to burn while flying a mission over North Korea during the Korean War. His many accidents and injuries. His batting performance after other teams began using the shift on him. Hitting a home run in his last at-bat in Fenway Park. The strength of the book comes in the photographs. Surprisingly, many of these are very blurred and don't quite meet the standard that you will expect in a pictoral autobiography. The first photograph with Bobby Doerr when both were just starting with the Red Sox is an example. People who are interested in his swing will enjoy the sequence with his shirt off that appeared in Life magazine. 'The key was the right swing, studying the pitchers, studying the situations, waiting to get your pitch, and just plain working like hell at it.' The book isn't only about baseball. You will also learn about his mother's hard work on behalf of the Salvation Army, his hunting and fishing, and meeting sports and political celebrities. Mr. Williams had a reputation as a player for being uncooperative with the press and the fans. To his credit, he shares his side of these events pretty candidly. The famous spitting incident is well covered. One of the most telling exhibits is an advertisement for cigarettes. Mr. Williams was not a smoker, and clearly admits to having done it for the money. He always intended to make a donation for cancer research to return the money, but indicates that he never did. I admired him for including this event, which he clearly now views as a mistake. He also is candid about not being excited about serving in both World War II and the Korean War. This service cost him 5 major league seasons during his prime years. He was only one of two major leaguers to do this. After you finish enjoying this book, think about how Mr. Williams turned his talent to other areas outside of baseball. Have you turned your hand to as many other areas as you would benefit from trying? After all, we only have so many days on Earth to make our contribution. Make the most of them! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent

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