Ted Williams: Jack of All Trades

Boston Red Sox slugger Ted Williams was known for his prowess at the plate. But his skill set extended well beyond baseball. The accomplished pilot missed much of the 1952 and 1953 seasons so he could fly combat missions during the Korean War. He was also fantastic with a rod and reel. Author Richard Ben Cramer, whose 1986 Esquire story “What Do You Think of Ted Williams Now?” remains one of the best pieces ever written about the Splendid Splinter, best captured Williams’s legendary persona:

Few men try for best ever, and Ted Williams is one of those. There’s a story about him I think of now. This is not about baseball but fishing. He meant to be the best there, too. One day he says to a Boston writer: “Ain’t no one in heaven or earth ever knew more about fishing.”

“Sure there is,” says the scribe.

“Oh, yeah? Who?”

“Well, God made the fish.”

“Yeah, awright,” Ted says. “But you have to go pretty far back.”

The Major League Baseball All-Stars stamps, featuring Williams, are available in Post Offices and online now.

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