Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Franchise Player: Ted Williams

Most people who follow baseball probably already knew this. Ted Williams is the best player to play for the Red Sox. Williams holds numerous team records that do not look as if they will broken anytime soon. He holds the franchise record for home runs (521), batting average (.344), slugging percentage (.634), on-base percentage (.482), and walks (2,019). He is second in runs batted in (by 5), runs scored (by 18), hits, doubles, total bases, and extra base hits.

Williams played from 1939 through 1960 with several years fragmented or missed due to active service. Williams was a fighter pilot in World War II and Korea. He spent his entire major league career with the Boston Red Sox.

He was one of the greatest hitters to ever play the game. He was somewhat limited in the field and on the base paths, but he could get on base better than almost anyone. Williams lead the league in on-base percentage twelve times. Eight times, he lead the league in walks. Ted Williams never collected 200 hits in a single season and finished about 350 hits shy of 3,000 for his career, but this was due to the fact that he walked so often, and due to his missing so much time for service. If he had played those five years completely, he likely would have reached 3,000 hits, and possibly challenged Babe Ruth for the career home run record.

Individually, Williams was an MVP twice (1946, 1949) and finished second four more times. He won the Triple Crown twice, leading the league in home runs, runs batted in, and batting average in 1942 and 1947. He is also so far the last player to bat .400 in a single season (.406 in 1941). He was elected to the Hall of Fame on his first attempt in 1966. He died in 2002.

Ted Williams is the face of the Boston Red Sox, the player that most people think of when they think of the team. He owns several of the team's offensive records and won many individual awards. He is one of the greatest hitters to ever play the game and very deserving of his place in baseball history.

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