“The Kid”, “The Splendid Splinter”, “Teddy Ballgame”; Ted Williams went by a few nicknames while playing for the Boston Red Sox. Maybe none so fitting as: “The Greatest Hitter That Ever Lived.” Williams was the last player in the major leagues to achieve a batting average over .400--which he did in 1941–in his third season in the majors. Ted Williams was obsessed with hitting, taking meticulous care of his bats, and was often observed swinging or posing for a pitch, whether he had a bat in his hands or not.
Off the field, the measure of Ted Williams is not so easy to follow. A private and mercurial man, he was moody and prone to bouts of rage. He would blow up at the press, his teammates, and his family. Williams married three times and had three children, but struck out as a father or husband. Ben Bradlee Jr., former editor and reporter for the Boston Globe, spent ten years trying to find out exactly why Ted Williams was the way he was. He interviewed more than six hundred people who knew “The Kid” going all the way back to his childhood. Ben Bradlee Jr.’s new book is called “The Kid: The Immortal Life of Ted Williams.”
Mike Napoli’s three-run double in the first inning of last night’s World Series opener put the Red Sox on the path for an 8 to 1 drubbing of the St. Louis Cardinals at Fenway Park. The cardinals committed three costly errors and lost star right fielder Carlos Beltran who injured himself running into Fenway’s unusually low right field wall -- while making a spectacular catch, that robbed David Ortiz of a grand slam. That is just one of the quirks of Fenway, the old-school ball park that throbbed with sox fans last night. It’s one of few remaining fields in the nation that isn’t named for a bank, or a drink. Fenway has a personality--and a history--today’s sox fans sit in the same spot where even more raucous fans sat in in 1912, when Fenway Park opened its doors.
Glenn Stout tells the story of the idiosyncratic park’s construction, christening and enduring charm in the book “Fenway 1912: The Birth of a Ball Park, A Championship Season, and Fenway’s Remarkable First Year”. We spoke to him last year when the book came out...and pulled it from the archives today…a great day to celebrate Fenway Park .
The Red Sox squeaked by the Tigers last night in Detroit, putting them one game closer to the World Series. Although Boston and Detroit are two of the oldest franchises in Major League Baseball, this is the first time they’ve faced each other in the playoffs. That could be due to the post season absence of one team Sox fans – and apparently the rest of the country -- love to hate… the New York Yankees. …this is only the second season in 19 years that the Bronx Bombers failed to make the playoffs. What are baseball fans today without their favorite targets of scorn? Brian Costa can help. He’s national baseball writer for the Wall Street Journal and creator of the “Major League Baseball Hate-Ability Index” – a tool for identifying which team to root against during this year’s baseball playoffs and the World Series
The Red Sox faithful are holding their breath for a resurrection after a 26 game deficit behind the Yankees and a dismal .426 winning percentage last year. Yesterday, New Hampshire’s own Darren Garnick was in attendance at Fenway’s opening day, one face in a crowd of thousands hoping for a win under New Hampshire native – and new Red Sox skipper, Ben Cherington. Darren is a former business columnist and contributor to New Hampshire magazine and joins us today to discuss opening day, the Red Sox, and the New Hampshire fans who love them.
In Essex, Vermont there’s a scale replica of a famous baseball park. In fact, there are two. In 2000, Pat O’ Connor had the crazy idea to build a version of Boston’s famed Fenway Park in his backyard. The following year he began to hold Wiffle ball tournaments to raise money for various charities. Later, he built another field next door- Little Wrigley. Fast forward to 2013, and those two fields host dozens of charity tournaments each year, and have helped to raise more than 2 million dollars. And there’s talk of yet another field.
Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 12:09 pm
It's hard to pinpoint exactlywhat it is about Fenway Park. A century after it was built, fans still gush about this "lyric little bandbox," as John Updike called it. To guys like Ed Carpenter, Fenway is history and home, magic and mystique.
"I love this place," he says, tearing up. "I mean, it's not mortar and bricks and seats."
Carpenter first started coming to Fenway with his dad in 1949, when he was 6.
"We walked up this ramp right behind this home plate," he recalls. "I can still see everything was green, emerald green. It was love at first sight."
Former Major League Baseball pitcher Roger Clemens stops to sign a baseball as he leaves the federal courthouse in Washington, D.C., on July 14, 2011, after a judge declared a mistrial in his perjury trial.
Baseball star Roger Clemens goes on trial for a second time Monday on charges that he lied to a congressional committee about using steroids and human growth hormone. His trial on perjury and obstruction charges last summer ended abruptly when prosecutors mistakenly showed the jury evidence that the judge had ruled inadmissible.
Clemens won a record seven Cy Young awards during his storied pitching career, but prosecutors contend that he used steroids and human growth hormone to prolong that career.
It was a sold out game on a pure Southern California day.
"Isn't this beautiful? Blue sky, not a cloud in the air, nice little breeze," said Maury Wills, who was the Dodgers shortstop in 1962. "It's warm Southern California."
Wills joined a bunch of his old teammates Tuesday to celebrate Dodger Stadium's 50th anniversary. It's also the 50th anniversary of the Beach Boys. So they sang the national anthem after "Surfer Girl."
Baseball’s spring training is well under way in Florida and Arizona. While players work to make a spot for themselves and prepare for the start of the season, coaches, managers and scouts evaluate the talent they see on the fields; and they increasingly are using something called advanced defensive metrics. John Dewan is the owner of Baseball Info Solutions, and one of the authors of The Fielding Bible- Volume 3. The book is a compilation of defensive statistics.
Coaches and managers, as a group, have always been pretty straightforward types. We don't think of generals or preachers as humorists — and, after all, that's pretty much what coaches are, a hybrid of the military and the pulpit.
But at least in the past, there were always a fair complement of coaching characters: old cracker-barrel philosophers, feisty wise guys and even a few sardonic intellectuals.
Members of the Arlington Heights High School baseball team swing their old-style aluminum bats during the 2009 season in Fort Worth, Texas. This year, high school players will use a different type of metal bat that's designed to reduce injuries.
Baseball practice has just begun at many high schools across the country, but this year, the game is different. The National Federation of State High School Associations has adopted a new standard for baseball bats that is expected to change the way the game is played.