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The Red Sox, Cooperstown, and Firefighters: The Story of Ted Williams’ Ego

Published: May 8, 2017

Sure, Ted Williams was big-headed, but if he didn’t believe in himself, who would?

This article and other features about baseball can be found in the Post’s Special Collector’s Edition, Baseball: The Glory Years. This edition can be ordered here.


His name is Williams — Ted Williams. They call him the Kid on the Red sox because, standing 6 feet 3 inches, scrawny and smooth- cheeked, and weighing only 170, he looks like one. actually, in a major-league baseball park, way out there in left field, he looks as if he’d blow away at a puff of wind.

The Kid himself will tell you what kind of a hitter he is. He wants other people to like him, it is true, but he is — and he knows he is — his own best fan. He is not bashful. His belief in himself is missionary in scope and he shouts it wherever he goes. so much so, indeed, that some saw more than chance in the fact that his last hit of last season, in Shibe Park, Philadelphia, was a booming line drive which carried to the right-center-field wall and tore a hole in one of the horns of the public-address system.

“All right,” he says, “so i think i’m one helluva hitter. Well, all i’m asking is, suppose i stop thinking it, then who do you suggest is going to?”

There is no answer.

— “I Wanna Be an Immortal” by Cleveland Amory, Jan. 10, 1942

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