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bob_G

Did anyone catch the Ted Williams, HBO special last night?

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HBO did an amazing feature presentation on not only Ted Williams the ball player, but the Ted Williams the man, the Marine, the parent, and fisherman.

A very complex man.

 

I had two first hand Ted Williams experiences, one of which was discussed on the show.clapping.gif

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they did a good job of being honest and not portraying ted as a saint including accounts his crappy childhood and him being a less than stellar husband/father...stuff i never knew...

 

i saw ted give a fly casting demo at the worcester sportsman show about a million years ago...he was pretty slick with the long wand if memory serves...

 

i wonder what the record books would look like if he hadn't missed 5 mlb seasons to serve his country...

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He's one of the very few sports figures who I have a genuine admiration for. clapping.gif

 

The man didn't have a milliliter of "phony" in him.

 

I was thinking of you bob, when they did the pigeon segment wink.gif

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I met Ted Williams twice as a kid.

A lot of people didn't know this, but Ted Williams and Paul Kukonen were best of friends. Paul owned a tiny fishing/fly tying shop on Green Street, Worcester for the better part of 30 years, and was widely regarded as the hunting and fishing guru of New England of the time. Paul also lived in the back room of the shop. Paul and Ted were always going off on exotic and not so exotic fishing and hunting trips all over New England.

Well, it was probabaly around 1969-70. I just got my drivers lic, and I drove to Paul's shop on Green Street to by some fly tying supplies for the upcoming trout season. I walked in, and there was Paul and Ted Williams, both with shotguns. I had met Ted (or Mr. Williams as I called him) the previous year (save that for another story), and I said HI to both.

I asked if they'd been hunting, and Paul told me they had just come back from 'shooting pigeons'. As Mr. Williams stood next to me snickering, Paul explained that Ted has the keys to Fenway Park, and the two of them frequently go there in the off season to shoot pigeons from inside the Green Monster.cwm27.gif

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I was born in Attleboro Ma. in 56. Never got to see him play. But just imagine 5 years to the military. Maybe he would have won a WS or 2. Great show, just wish they had cremated him and none of the other BS. But the 2 kids seem sincere. Thats what I want and spread my ashes in the RB. Dont like the idea of being buried under ground (claustrophobic). Even if I am dead.

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I thought it was well done also. He definately was a complex guy.....hated nearly all members of the the Boston press but was there in an instant for Shaughnessy's daughter(which was new to me). He definately had quite a life, Hall of Fame in baseball and fishing, and supposedly one hell of a pilot in Korea.

 

One thing it got me to do out of curiousity was look at the .400 club. Never realised that in the 1890's if you were batting and got walked your stats were also credited with a hit since you had reached first base. It stands to reason that roughly half the guys in the club come from that period(and the top 3 averages). Then you have the modern era after 1901 and some famous names like Cobb, Shoeless Joe, Sisler, Hornsby and Williams. Joe Jackson had some bad luck, broke 400 but didnt even win the batting title since Cobb went 420 the same season.

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View PostI thought it was well done also. He definately was a complex guy.....hated nearly all members of the the Boston press but was there in an instant for Shaughnessy's daughter(which was new to me). He definately had quite a life, Hall of Fame in baseball and fishing, and supposedly one hell of a pilot in Korea.

 

.

 

 

John Glenn was his wingman on a few missions, and said that Ted was the best natural pilot he ever saw

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View PostJohn Glenn was his wingman on a few missions, and said that Ted was the best natural pilot he ever saw

 

 

Yeah I remember him saying that around the time of Williams' death. Call me cynical but that was one acolade to Williams I took with a grain of salt since it came from a politician being taped.

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One other thought about him being a pilot in Korea DJ......you have to give Williams credit for learning on the fly since all his WW2 training was done in piston engine planes. He did a crash course in jets and then flew in Korea, many of the guys he flew with, like Glenn, had been flying jets for at least a couple years before going.

 

No matter what with Williams, based on what Ive read about him or seen in clips, he was never boring or fake.......he may well be the most interesting American athlete of the century. Like many said......John Wayne was playing Ted Williams.

 

 

added later....just noticed a typo from my first post........it was the 1880's(and in particular 1887), not the 90's, for the odd baseball stats.

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He acted like a scumbag towards the fans until long after he was out of the game and only warmed up after he was ill. The reverse was also true...the fans never loved him till he was out, and for good reason. You did see him spit at the fans, right? Also treated the press like garbage. Regardless of what you as a fan think of the writers, they are trying to make a living. The players know that and should respect that. Overall, he was a tremendous player, disrespectful to fans and press, good to kids who were sick and strangers to him, and a lousy parent and husband.

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View PostHe acted like a scumbag towards the fans until long after he was out of the game and only warmed up after he was ill. The reverse was also true...the fans never loved him till he was out, and for good reason. You did see him spit at the fans, right? Also treated the press like garbage. Regardless of what you as a fan think of the writers, they are trying to make a living. The players know that and should respect that. Overall, he was a tremendous player, disrespectful to fans and press, good to kids who were sick and strangers to him, and a lousy parent and husband.

 

 

Not to turn this into a Yankees/Red Sox pissing contest--much as I like reading them wink.gif----Mick was a tremendous player, loved by the fans and the press, indifferent to kids and strangers who were sick, and as bad a parent and husband.

 

Ted's shortcomings as a man were widely bandied about by his enemies in the press. Mick's were gladly kept under wraps until a guy named Bouton wrote about them.

 

The kindness to kids and strangers, and the 5 years of service, give Williams the edge as a man in my book.

 

Mick was my hero as a kid--I came along too late for Ted. But when I stopped treating people as heroes for what they did playing a kids' game, I still considered Williams a hero for his service to his country, at a very great personal sacrifice.

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View PostNot to turn this into a Yankees/Red Sox pissing contest--much as I like reading them wink.gif----Mick was a tremendous player, loved by the fans and the press, indifferent to kids and strangers who were sick, and as bad a parent and husband.

 

The kindness to kids and strangers, and the 5 years of service, give Williams the edge as a man in my book.

 

Mick was my hero as a kid--I came along too late for Ted. But when I stopped treating people as heroes for what they did playing a kids' game, I still considered Williams a hero for his service to his country, at a very great personal sacrifice.

 

 

I understand and agree with all that, especailly the military service.The difference, if you want to make the comparison, is Mantle had charisma and was mostly loved and adored by the fans (and never spat at them) while he was playing. The guys a generation before you and me would always say Williams was a great player but a prick, including Boston guys.smile.gif Most of the people revering him now never saw him play and became fans after his reincarnation after he was out of baseball. If this were a Yankee-socks thing I think the better comparison would be to Joe D in that regard. The one trap I won't fall into is trying to figure out what his stats would have been if not for the war. Never did like when talking about Mick's if he didn't bust up his knee either. I don't go for imaginary stats too much.

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