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For Educators


Ted Williams
Reflections on a Splendid Life
Lawrence Baldassaro, ed.; Dom DiMaggio, fwd.; Richard A. Johnson, pref.



Sportstown Series

Northeastern University Press
2003 • 320 pp. 14 illus. 6 x 9"
Sports History / American History / Cultural Studies

$24.95 Paperback, 978-1-55553-550-6



“Williams is well honored in a new anthology of the best writing about his life and career.”—Sports Collectors Digest

The best writing by celebrated sports writers and best-selling authors about the "greatest hitter who ever lived" from his rookie year in 1939 to the memorial tributes following his death in 2002.

Ted Williams (1918-2002), one of the most colorful and controversial figures in sports history, was a genuine American hero and cultural icon. Considered by many the greatest hitter who ever lived, the "Splendid Splinter" appeared in eighteen All-Star games, won six batting titles and two Triple Crowns, and, in 1941, was the last player to hit over .400. In addition to his accomplishments on the baseball field, Hall-of-Famer Williams served as a fighter pilot in World War II and the Korean War, and was a tireless worker on behalf of the Jimmy Fund in the fight against cancer in children.

Williams' remarkable talent and passion for excellence, along with his stubborn, head-on approach to life and outspoken, volatile behavior, made him a favorite subject -- and target -- of sports scribes and other writers throughout his career. Although famous for his feuds with the press during his playing days, the temperamental star matured into a distinguished elder statesman of baseball.

This volume collects the best writing about Williams and some classic photographs of the hitter, providing a panorama of his brilliant ability and complex personality from his rookie year in 1939 to the memorial tributes following his recent death. It features thirty-five articles by celebrated sportswriters and best-selling authors, including Al Hirschberg ("Handsome Bad Boy of the Boston Red Sox"), Red Smith ("Ted Williams Spits"), Bud Collins ("'Saint' Goes Marching In"), Peter Gammons ("Williams an Unquestioned Hit with Him"), Ed Linn ("The Kid's Last Game"), John Updike ("Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu"), Donald Hall ("The Necessary Shape of the Old-Timers' Game"), John Underwood ("Going Fishing with the Kid"), Stephen Jay Gould ("Achieving the Impossible Dream: Ted Williams and .406"), and David Halberstam ("The Perfectionist at the Plate").

Taken together, the pieces offer a vivid mosaic of a true American great who is admired and respected as much by today's ballplayers and fans as those of his own generation.



Lawrence Baldassaro is Professor of Italian and Comparative Literature and Director of the University Honors Program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He is the coeditor of 'The American Game: Baseball and Ethnicity.' A native of Massachusetts, he is a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan. Dom DiMaggio, a teammate and close friend of Ted Williams, played center field for the Red Sox. Richard A. Johnson, editor of the Sportstown Series, is Curator of the Sports Museum of New England and the author of 'A Century of Boston Sports,' also published by Northeastern University Press.






Wed, 23 Apr 2014 11:49:00 -0500