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franklin county times

Ted Williams truly was one of a kind

By By Stan Torgerson / guest columnist
July 11, 2002
In 1938 I was a 14-year-old baseball crazy kid who lived just a bicycle ride from Nicollet Park in Minneapolis, home of the Minneapolis Millers. The Millers were a member of the American Association, a Class AAA minor league that was just one step below the major leagues.
The star of the team was a skinny 19-year-old named Ted Williams, the same Ted Williams who was destined to become the greatest hitter baseball has ever known and who, sadly, died this week.
Several years before Williams joined the team a Minneapolis player named Joe Hauser hit 69 homeruns, a mark that stood for both the major and minor leagues for many, many years. 
I would watch the ball game and put up with anything and everything  just waiting for Williams to came to bat. The game itself was important, but as far as I was concerned  it centered around Williams.
Williams himself describes one such incident in his book. The situation took place in the very first inning, long before the game would be decided. The bases were loaded and Williams had a 3-1 count. The opponent was the Miller's most hated rival, the St. Paul Saints and Ted knew the opposing pitcher would have to come in with a fast ball. The pitch was just what he expected and right where he wanted it. He swung for that right field fence, got under the ball a bit too much and popped it up to the Saints' first baseman. Williams' book takes it from there.
I don't, however, try to measure them by Williams God-given talent.
There aren't any.

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