Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Ted Williams By: Leigh Montville

This book follows the life of Red Sox legend Ted Williams. It starts with Williams as a kid in San Diego, and follows him even after his death. Along the wary, it gives an intimate, behind the scenes look at his life. It discusses his relationships with his family, the media, his friends, and the Boston fans. It follows him as a minor leaguer, a fighter pilot, a superstar, a manager, and as a living icon. It adds fresh interviews to the mountains of information already out there on the Splendid Splinter. Along the way, the reader can see how all these experiences wove into the person many people thought they knew.

I am too young to have been a Ted Williams “fan.” By the time I came around, he had even finished his managerial career. I was certainly aware of Ted Williams the legend, but never had the connection to him that those of previous generations would. So, I enjoyed this book a great deal do to all the information it provided. It was fascinating to see how everything built. I had always heard he hated the media, and now I knew why. I had heard he was booed at Fenway, and now I know the reasons. It struck me, reading the book as Manny Ramirez was playing his first spring in LA, how similar the stories appeared to be. Ted was an immense talent who was seen as selfish by the fans, not a real team player. He detested the media intruding into his life. But, he sure could hit. As with any biography, you’ll probably like Ted a little less after reading the book than you did before. (Apparently, even baseball idols have flaws) That shouldn’t stop anybody from picking up this wonderful book. I had a hard time putting it down.

Rating: 4 bases

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