Sunday, 15 July 2012
Ted Williams on NBC Later with Bob Costas: Interviewing The Best Hitter of All Time
In the 1940s there was a great debate in the American League in Major League Baseball, about who was the best player in the game. As well as best all around hitter in MLB, Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox or Joe DiMaggio of the New York Yankees and it just so happens that the Red Sox and Yankees. Are Arch Rivals, the best rivalry in MLB and I believe in Pro Sports as well, both teams being real good every year, in contention for the AL Title. Both clubs being two of the biggest markets in America, Boston and New York, so of course both players and both teams bringing a lot of media attention to them. Ted Williams played about half of his career in the TV Era when TV Sports came into business and Joe DiMaggio retired in 1952 and maybe played a few years in the TV Era. So a lot of what Americans not living in the New York or New England Areas, what they knew about Ted and Joe, was what they read in the paper or perhaps heard on the radio. The Game of The Week on radio but if you lived in these areas and were a baseball fan, you knew all about Ted and Joe D as players. Because you went to the games and got to see them and knew exactly how great all around players both were.
To me at least Ted Williams is the best all around hitter who ever lived, right in front of Babe Ruth. Because he was a power hitter, that knew the Strike Zone better then most umpires and knew how great of a hitter he was, what he should try to hit, what should he try to foul off. Especially with two strikes, so he doesn't risk striking out and what pitches he should take. You are talking about a power hitter that hit 520 Home Runs or so, would've had 600 had it not been for his service in World War II, he lost 2-3 years because of that, that also had a 340 plus Career Batting Average, who almost never struck out. Joe DiMaggio was clearly a better outfielder and perhaps better all around player but Ted was the better hitter. Two of the best hitters and players of all time, with Ted Williams just being better. Not a knock on Joe D, but Ted was just a better hitter, more power, better average and so fourth.
The only thing that Ted Williams didn't accomplish in his career, was to win the World Series, had one opportunity to do that, in 1947 or 48 against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Red Sox of the 1940s were sorta like the Brooklyn Dodgers of the 1950s, wait until next year, we came close but we'll get them next year. Basically contenders every year but only coming through once in the American League but as an individual, Ted is the best hitter who ever lived.