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Ted Williams


"A kid copies what is good. I remember the first time I saw Lefty O'Doul, and he was as far away as those palms. And I saw the guy come to bat in batting practice. I was looking through a knothole, and I said, 'Geez, does that guy look good!' And it was Lefty O'Doul, one of the greatest hitters ever.'' in The Sporting News (1994)

"All managers are losers, they are the most expendable pieces of furniture on the face of the Earth."

"A man has to have goals - for a day, for a lifetime - and that was mine, to have people say, 'There goes Ted Williams, the greatest hitter who ever lived.'"

"Baseball gives every American boy a chance to excel, not just to be as good as someone else but to be better than someone else. This is the nature of man and the name of the game.

"Baseball is the only field of endeavor where a man can succeed three times out of ten and be considered a good performer."

"Baseball's future? Bigger and bigger, better and better! No question about it, it's the greatest game there is!"

"By the time you know what to do, you're too old to do it."

"(Joe) DiMaggio was the greatest all-around player I ever saw. His career cannot be summed up in numbers and awards. It might sound corny, but he had a profound and lasting impact on the country."

"Hitting is fifty percent above the shoulders."

"Hitting is the most important part of the game. It is where the big money is, where much of the status is, and the fan interest."

"If I was being paid thirty-thousand dollars a year, the very least I could do was hit .400."

"If there was ever a man born to be a hitter it was me."

"I hope somebody hits .400 soon. Then people can start pestering that guy with questions about the last guy to hit .400."

"I know - I know all about you (Carl Yastrzemski). Look, kid, don't ever - ya' understand me? - don't ever let anyone monkey with your swing."

"I've found that you don't need to wear a necktie if you can hit."

"There has always been a saying in baseball that you can't make a hitter, but I think you can improve a hitter. More than you can improve a fielder. More mistakes are made hitting than in any other part of the game."

"There's only one way to become a hitter. Go up to the plate and get mad. Get mad at yourself and mad at the pitcher."

"They invented the All-Star game for Willie Mays."

"You have to hit the fastball to play in the big leagues."

Quotations About Ted Williams

"An outfield composed of (Ty) Cobb, (Tris) Speaker and (Babe) Ruth, even with Ruth, lacks the combined power of (Joe) DiMaggio, (Stan) Musial and (Ted) Williams." - Connie Mack

"Did they tell me how to pitch to (Ted) Williams? Sure they did. It was great advice, very encouraging. They said he had no weakness, won't swing at a bad ball, has the best eyes in the business, and can kill you with one swing. He won't hit anything bad, but don't give him anything good." - Bobby Shantz

"He could hit better with a broken arm than we could with two good arms." - Jerry Coleman

"If he'd just tip he cap once, he could be elected Mayor of Boston in five minutes." - Eddie Collins

"I got a big charge out of seeing Ted Williams hit. Once in a while they let me try to field some of them, which sort of dimmed my enthusiasm." - Rocky Bridges

"I'm very pleased and very proud of my accomplishments, but I'm most proud of that (hitting four-hundred home runs and three-thousand hits). Not (Ted) Williams, not (Lou) Gehrig, not (Joe) DiMaggio did that. They were Cadillacs and I'm a Chevrolet." - Carl Yastrzemski

"In baseball, there is something electrifying about the big leagues. I had read so much about (Stan) Musial, (Ted) Williams and (Jackie) Robinson. I had put those guys on a pedestal. They were something special. I really thought they put their pants on different, rather than one leg at a time." - Hank Aaron

"It was typical of him to become a Marine Air Corps pilot and see action and almost get shot down. He was a remarkable American as well as a remarkable ballplayer. His passing so close to a national holiday seems part of a divine plan, so we can always remember him not only as a great player but also as a great patriot." - Vin Scully

"One of my best friends on earth and the greatest hitter I ever faced. And I faced a lot of guys, including Lou Gehrig. He was also a great friend to my wife Anne and me. He was a great American." - Bob Feller

"Ted's (Williams) passing signals a sad day, not only for baseball fans, but for every American. He was a cultural icon, a larger-than-life personality. He was great enough to become a Hall of Fame player. He was caring enough to be the first Hall of Famer to call for the inclusion of Negro Leagues stars in Cooperstown. He was brave enough to serve our country as a Marine in not one but two global conflicts. Ted Williams is a hero for all generations." - Dale Petroskey (President of the Baseball Hall of Fame)

"Ted (Williams) was everything that was right about the game of baseball. If you really think about it, he was everything that is right about this country. It is certainly a sad day for all of us. He is a man who lost five years of service time serving his country. What he could have done with those years in the prime of his life ... it would be awesome to really put those numbers together. He would have probably been the greatest power hitter of all time." - Pirates Manager Lloyd McClendon

"Ted (Williams) was the greatest hitter of our era. He won six batting titles and served his country for five years, so he would have won more. He loved talking about hitting and was a great student of hitting and pitchers." - Stan Musial

"The way those clubs shift against Ted Williams, I can't understand how he can be so stupid not to accept the challenge to him and hit to left field." - Ty Cobb

"They can talk about Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb and Rogers Hornsby and Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio and Stan Musial and all the rest, but I'm sure not one of them could hold cards and spades to (Ted) Williams in his sheer knowledge of hitting. He studied hitting the way a broker studies the stock market, and could spot at a glance mistakes that others couldn't see in a week." - Carl Yastrzemski

"When you're a kid, what fun the game is! You grab a bat and glove and ball, that's it. I know what Ted Williams and Stan Musial meant when they said it got tougher to get in shape every year." - Eddie Mathews

"(Ted) Williams is the classic ballplayer of the game on a hot August weekday, before a small crowd, when the only thing at stake is the tissue-thin difference between a thing done well and a thing done ill." - John Updike

** Commissioner Bud Selig's Statement on Ted Williams **

"All of baseball mourns the passing of Ted Williams. Ted was an American legend. Besides being one of baseball's all-time greats, he was a genuine war hero, having served as a Marine flyer in World War II and in the Korean conflict.

Personally, I will miss him terribly. He was one of my heroes when I was growing up in Milwaukee and he had become my very good friend over the last decade. My condolences go out to his family.

When Ted (Williams) was a young man, he often said it was his goal that people would say of him: 'There goes the greatest hitter who ever lived.' Ted (Williams) fulfilled that dream.

We will remember Ted (Williams) at the All-Star Game Tuesday in Milwaukee, which is only fitting given that one of his most historic baseball moments came during the 1946 All-Star Game when he hit a Rip Sewell "eephus" pitch for a home run. He will also be remembered for his participation at the 1999 All-Star Game in Boston as part of the Major League Baseball All-Century Team."

** President George W. Bush's Statement on the passing of Ted Williams **

"With the passing of Ted Williams, America lost a baseball legend. Whether serving the country in the Armed Forces or excelling on the baseball diamond, Ted Williams demonstrated unique talent and love of country.

He inspired young ballplayers across the Nation for decades, and we will always remember his persistence on the field and his courage off the field. Ted (Williams) gave baseball some of its best seasons-and he gave his own best seasons to his country.

He will be greatly missed."



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