Peter D

AN OLD TED WILLIAMS STORY

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An incident re Ted Williams. Back in 1963 I was president of a striper club in Boston, the Mayflower Anglers. We had a booth at the Sportsman Show in Boston which then was held at the Boston University Armory on Comm. Ave..

Ted Williams was at the show each day demonstrating fly casting at the raised pool which was set up in the show.

I would come in early to insure our Mayflower Anglers' booth was all set up for the day. One day before the show opened Williams was practicing fly casting by himself at the pool. When he finished he saw me standing in the Mayflower Angler booth which was directly opposite the stairs that led up to the raised casting pool. He asked me if I would hold his rod so it would be close by ready for his fly casting demo. I placed the rod in the corner of the booth ready for his use.

Unbeknown to me one of the other Club members saw this. When I left the booth for a short spell, he picked up Williams rig, pulled out some line, cut it and reeled it back in. Apparently as a mean trick so the line would separate when Williams was demonstrating casting. When I returned another Club member saw what was done to William’s fly rod setup and told me what had happened.

I knew I had to tell Williams. I found him, apologized profusely, and told him what had happened. I assumed I would be taken to the woodshed for allowing the line cutting fiasco to take place. Instead, Williams was most gracious and told me he would have one of the fly fishing tackle vendors on site rerig the rod and thanked me for holding his rod.

During the show I got to see Williams each day. He was always gracious to folks who stopped him to chat. Many ladies would ask if the could have their picture taken with him. He always obliged and was most cordial.

 PS- the late Don Nee from Charlestown, MA was a friend and Club member at that time. In 1962 Don caught a 66.5 lb striper at Cuttyhunk (Devils Bridge rip, Martha’s Vineyard) on Charlie Haag’s boat (Strad).

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When I would see him in Whitey’s he was always very gracious and very down to earth.  Nice guy ?   

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2 mins ago, ccb said:

When I would see him in Whitey’s he was always very gracious and very down to earth.  Nice guy ?   

Maybe your thinking about Pat Nee?

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2 mins ago, ccb said:

Nope  / never met him ?

Pat Née was a career criminal somewhat associated with Whitey Bulger.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I wasn’t thinking for Whitey  Bulger ? 

You got me ?

Edited by ccb

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4 hours ago, heyblue34 said:

Pat Née was a career criminal somewhat associated with Whitey Bulger.

You got that correct Part of the crew in another time. Now the crew have different names and also nationalities , especially in Boston

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As a young lad growing up in the late '50's and early '60's, I would attend a lot of Boston Red Sox games as well as the Boston Patriots (yes they were the Boston Patriots then) with grandpa. As with most youngsters, we all had our heroes of the diamond. Ted Williams was one of mine. During attendance of one of his later games at Fenway Park, grandpa caught one of Ted's foul balls and of course it immediately went in my glove that I brought to every game. My brother and I played Little League Baseball and a few years after acquiring that foul ball, we attended Ted Williams Baseball Camp in Lakeville for two weeks. It was not far from our home. Ted had since retired from his baseball career. We saw him a couple times while at camp, so I brought the ball in my bag every day in the hopes of getting his autograph. The holy grail for an admiring young baseball fan. I finally had an opportune moment as he was leaving his office. I politely asked him for an autograph on the ball. Now Ted was quite known for being very abrasive towards media and just in general. When I asked him for the autograph, he grumbled something incoherent along with a few choice words that weren't appropriate in front of a kid and knocked the ball out of my hand. The guy he was with picked up the ball and said something in Ted's ear. Ted signed the ball and tossed it to me without saying anything else and continued to his waiting car. I was so mad, I wanted to bean him off the back of his head with the ball. But of course I didn't. I just got a shrug and an apologetic look from Ted's partner. 
But anyways, I've hung onto the ball all these years and despite Ted's abrasive manners, I remained in awe of seeing him in replays in the batters box. It also reminds me of all the outings with grandpa. 

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On 1/1/2019 at 5:00 PM, Peter D said:

An incident re Ted Williams. Back in 1963 I was president of a striper club in Boston, the Mayflower Anglers. We had a booth at the Sportsman Show in Boston which then was held at the Boston University Armory on Comm. Ave..

Ted Williams was at the show each day demonstrating fly casting at the raised pool which was set up in the show.

I would come in early to insure our Mayflower Anglers' booth was all set up for the day. One day before the show opened Williams was practicing fly casting by himself at the pool. When he finished he saw me standing in the Mayflower Angler booth which was directly opposite the stairs that led up to the raised casting pool. He asked me if I would hold his rod so it would be close by ready for his fly casting demo. I placed the rod in the corner of the booth ready for his use.

Unbeknown to me one of the other Club members saw this. When I left the booth for a short spell, he picked up Williams rig, pulled out some line, cut it and reeled it back in. Apparently as a mean trick so the line would separate when Williams was demonstrating casting. When I returned another Club member saw what was done to William’s fly rod setup and told me what had happened.

I knew I had to tell Williams. I found him, apologized profusely, and told him what had happened. I assumed I would be taken to the woodshed for allowing the line cutting fiasco to take place. Instead, Williams was most gracious and told me he would have one of the fly fishing tackle vendors on site rerig the rod and thanked me for holding his rod.

During the show I got to see Williams each day. He was always gracious to folks who stopped him to chat. Many ladies would ask if the could have their picture taken with him. He always obliged and was most cordial.

 PS- the late Don Nee from Charlestown, MA was a friend and Club member at that time. In 1962 Don caught a 66.5 lb striper at Cuttyhunk (Devils Bridge rip, Martha’s Vineyard) on Charlie Haag’s boat (Strad).

I used to fish with Bob Smith on the Susan B. He was always talking about Don Nee so he must have fished on the Susan B too. If you lost a fish especially a large he tell you that Don Nee would have landed it. Capt Bob said he was the best.

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Nice story , his times with Jack Sharkey at the old sportsman shows was well worth taking in and recalling as well for many .

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1 min ago, K Foley said:

I used to fish with Bob Smith on the Susan B. He was always talking about Don Nee so he must have fished on the Susan B too. If you lost a fish especially a large he tell you that Don Nee would have landed it. Capt Bob said he was the best.

I fished with Bob Smith in the late 50's and 60's. Smith was the weigh master at the Cuttyhunk docks. He weighed in and certified Nee's fish. I don't believe Nee fished with Smith. He fished with Haag and Sabotowski. He may have also fished with Joe Cordeiro. I told  Smith we needed to get a fish larger that Nee's because Nee would needle me at club meetings claiming Haag was a better fisherman than Haag (he wasn't). I did get 5 bass over 50 lbs in those days with Smith, largest 59 lbs-8oz. Never did get a 60. We "squeezed the scale" with that fish but no matter how we tried couldn't push 60. I did fish with Sabatowski in '57 in his old boat. Smith and Haag could become pretty nasty out on the rips where each would try to "push" each other off the rip, especially in the Pigs. Smith was a mater with eel skin rigs off the beaches (Nashawhena, Nashon, etc.) after the fish left the rips, usually beginning in mid July. My best luck with Smith was at the Pig's, Quick's and Devil's (Gay Head Martha's Vineyard) rips in late June.

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11 mins ago, bospa357 said:

As a young lad growing up in the late '50's and early '60's, I would attend a lot of Boston Red Sox games as well as the Boston Patriots (yes they were the Boston Patriots then) with grandpa. As with most youngsters, we all had our heroes of the diamond. Ted Williams was one of mine. During attendance of one of his later games at Fenway Park, grandpa caught one of Ted's foul balls and of course it immediately went in my glove that I brought to every game. My brother and I played Little League Baseball and a few years after acquiring that foul ball, we attended Ted Williams Baseball Camp in Lakeville for two weeks. It was not far from our home. Ted had since retired from his baseball career. We saw him a couple times while at camp, so I brought the ball in my bag every day in the hopes of getting his autograph. The holy grail for an admiring young baseball fan. I finally had an opportune moment as he was leaving his office. I politely asked him for an autograph on the ball. Now Ted was quite known for being very abrasive towards media and just in general. When I asked him for the autograph, he grumbled something incoherent along with a few choice words that weren't appropriate in front of a kid and knocked the ball out of my hand. The guy he was with picked up the ball and said something in Ted's ear. Ted signed the ball and tossed it to me without saying anything else and continued to his waiting car. I was so mad, I wanted to bean him off the back of his head with the ball. But of course I didn't. I just got a shrug and an apologetic look from Ted's partner. 
But anyways, I've hung onto the ball all these years and despite Ted's abrasive manners, I remained in awe of seeing him in replays in the batters box. It also reminds me of all the outings with grandpa. 

IMG_2652.JPG

IMG_2655.JPG

My late friend Lefty Duval was a former Marine and baseball umpire for many years in the greater New Bedford area. He was very sharp and loved to tell stories. When Williams became the manager of the Senators he asked around for someone who knew the rules for the pitcher and Lefty’s name was mentioned. I can only imagine the conversations those two baseball loving Marines had about the game and service to our country.

 

I was very fortunate to have met The Left Hander and work baseball games with him. He was in his 70’s and could umpire better than a lot of guys half his age. We worked at the camp a couple of times. There were two rules with him: we always took the back roads to and from the ball park but not the same way, and if it was your turn to bring beers it was never “any of that light beer s!$@.”

 

Having served with The Corps for half of my Navy enlistment I have an understanding of Marines. They are proud and great people but I don’t think the abrasiveness comes from being Marines. Williams was unfortunately Williams and maybe you should have plunked him. 

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