Williams is perhaps the most fascinating, the most controversial - yes, and possibly the greatest - figure in American sports history.Â Only Babe Ruth, Muhammad Ali, and Michael
Jordan stand on a pedestal with him.
It is sad that millions of young people know only what they have read of his death.Â This book is not about his death.Â It is about his life.
Williams was an enigma, who just wouldn't fit into a mold.Â The Boston press once took a poll to name the least cooperative,
most temperamental, most generous, and most cooperative players on the Red
Sox.Â Williams came in first in every category.
knew Ted Williams for 45 years, beginning in 1957, and saw him play for 20,
beginning in 1941.Â This has given me a unique box seat to this amazing chapter of Americana.Â To me he is the Beethoven and Monet of baseball.
But why another Ted Williams book?
Ted is already the subject of a large and growing hagiography of excellent and readable books.Â His own My Turn At
Bat is one of the most engaging autobiographies in sports literature.Â I made a modest contribution in 1991 with The
Last 400 Hitter, about his magnificent season of 1941.
Each biography draws on different sources.Â
They are like the blind men who clutch different parts of an elephant.Â Each adds to the mosaic, as each gropes to discover this ebullient yet elusive and enigmatic man.
In the present work I have tapped hitherto untapped sources in hopes of presenting the most complete story yet assembled of an amazing Renaissance man.Â Based on half a century of research, I have examined this many-sided genius from as many new angles as possible, hoping to paint the Cromwellian portrait that he himself would have wanted, warts and all.
Ted and I spent hours probing his memory for games and players now largely lost to living memory.
20 years ago I also probed the memories of dozens of men, many now gone, who played with and against
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