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Happy birthday, Splendid Splinter

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  August 30, 2011 11:57 AM

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Today is the birthday of the late, great Ted Williams. He was born in 1918 in San Diego and went on to become the greatest hitter who ever lived.

Gaze in wonder at the man's statistics over 19 seasons. He hit .344 with a .482 OBP and a .634 slugging percentage.

Williams went to the plate 9,791 times in his career and struck out only 709 times.

As legend has it, a rookie pitcher once threw a pitch down the middle that was called a ball. When he complained, the umpire told him he'll know it's a strike if Ted swings at it.

Joe DiMaggio had a 56-game hitting streak from May 15 to July 16, 1941. It's a record that will probably never be broken. DiMaggio hit .408 with a 1.180 OPS during his streak.

Williams hit .412 with a 1.224 OPS from May 15 to July 16, 1941. He hit .406/.553/.735 that season.

That's how great Ted Williams was.

It seems kind of neat the Sox are playing the Yankees today. Maybe one of the Red Sox will hit a ball deep into the right field bleachers and it will give an old man a good excuse to tell his grandson that Teddy Ballgame used to hit 'em a lot deeper than that.

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