Other Free Encyclopedias » Famous Sports Stars » Baseball » Ted Williams Biography - Young Ball Player, Military Service And Continuing Career, "terrible Ted", Chronology, Awards And Accomplishments

Ted Williams - Military Service And Continuing Career

mvp red hit sox

At the end of the 1942 season, Williams became a fighter pilot and flight instructor in the U.S. Marine Corps, during World War II. He served through 1945 and returned to the Red Sox in 1946, helping the team win the American League pennant and taking home the MVP award. Although the Red Sox lost the World Series (the only one Williams played in) to the St. Louis Cardinals that year, Williams's reputation as an outstanding hitter grew. He became known as the Splendid Splinter and the Thumper, for his 6'3" rail-thin frame and his power behind the bat.

In 1947, Williams won his second Triple Crown but lost the MVP title to DiMaggio by only one vote, a slight by the sportswriters that Williams never forgot. In 1949, he was voted American League MVP for the second time. In 1950, while having a great season, Williams fractured his elbow during the All-Star Game at Comiskey Park in Chicago; he smashed into the wall while catching a fly ball. He finished that game, but the injury cost him more than sixty games, although he played well during the games he did play. He hit .318 in 1951 but then went back into the military service in 1952 and 1953, during the Korean War. After a crash landing of his fighter plane and a bout with pneumonia, he was sent back to the states. He announced his retirement from baseball in 1954 but then changed his mind and stayed on with the Red Sox, because he would have been ineligible for Hall of Fame election on the first ballot if he quit too soon. He suffered a series of injuries in the mid-1950s, but in 1957, at almost forty years old, he hit .388 and became the oldest player to ever win a batting championship. He hit .453 during the second half of the season. Williams was more popular than ever before and finished second only to Mickey Mantle in MVP balloting. The following year, Williams batted .328, still high enough to lead the league in batting. During this part of his career he won the nickname Teddy Ballgame, although his favorite nickname for himself was always "The Kid."

Ted Williams - "terrible Ted" [next] [back] Ted Williams - Young Ball Player

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or