Ted Williams: The Biography of an American Hero

Ted Williams: The Biography of an American Hero

Leigh Montville / Dec 15, 2019

Ted Williams The Biography of an American Hero He was The Kid The Splendid Splinter Teddy Ballgame One of the greatest figures of his generation and arguably the greatest baseball hitter of all time But what made Ted Williams a legend and a light

  • Title: Ted Williams: The Biography of an American Hero
  • Author: Leigh Montville
  • ISBN: 9780385507486
  • Page: 132
  • Format: Hardcover
  • He was The Kid The Splendid Splinter Teddy Ballgame One of the greatest figures of his generation, and arguably the greatest baseball hitter of all time But what made Ted Williams a legend and a lightning rod for controversy in life and in death What motivated him to interrupt his Hall of Fame career twice to serve his country as a fighter pilot to embrace his fansHe was The Kid The Splendid Splinter Teddy Ballgame One of the greatest figures of his generation, and arguably the greatest baseball hitter of all time But what made Ted Williams a legend and a lightning rod for controversy in life and in death What motivated him to interrupt his Hall of Fame career twice to serve his country as a fighter pilot to embrace his fans while tangling with the media to retreat from the limelight whenever possible into his solitary love of fishing and to become the most famous man ever to have his body cryogenically frozen after his death New York Times bestselling author Leigh Montville, who wrote the celebrated Sports Illustrated obituary of Ted Williams, now delivers an intimate, riveting account of this extraordinary life Still a gangly teenager when he stepped into a Boston Red Sox uniform in 1939, Williams s boisterous personality and penchant for towering home runs earned him adoring admirers the fans and venomous critics the sportswriters In 1941, the entire country followed Williams s stunning.406 season, a record that has not been touched in over six decades At the pinnacle of his prime, Williams left Boston to train and serve as a fighter pilot in World War II, missing three full years of baseball He was back in 1946, dominating the sport alongside teammates Dominic DiMaggio, Johnny Pesky, and Bobby Doerr But Williams left baseball again in 1952 to fight in Korea, where he flew thirty nine combat missions crash landing his flaming, smoke filled plane, in one famous episode.Ted Willams s personal life was equally colorful His attraction to women and their attraction to him was a constant He was married and divorced three times and he fathered two daughters and a son He was one of corporate America s first modern spokesmen, and he remained, nearly into his eighties, a fiercely devoted fisherman With his son, John Henry Williams, he devoted his final years to the sports memorabilia business, even as illness overtook him And in death, controversy and public outcry followed Williams and the disagreements between his children over the decision to have his body preserved for future resuscitation in a cryonics facility a fate, many argue, Williams never wanted With unmatched verve and passion, and drawing upon hundreds of interviews, acclaimed best selling author Leigh Montville brings to life Ted Williams s superb triumphs, lonely tragedies, and intensely colorful personality, in a biography that is fitting of an American hero and legend.From the Trade Paperback edition.

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      Published :2019-09-27T09:53:02+00:00

    About "Leigh Montville"

      • Leigh Montville

        Leigh Montville is a highly respected sportswriter, columnist and author He is a graduate of the University of Connecticut.Montville is married to Diane Foster and has two children He lives in Massachusetts and is an ardent supporter of the Boston Red Sox.


    790 Comments

    1. Wonderful book on baseball legend Ted Williams, though the book Williams wrote, MY TURN AT BAT, is probably just as good. Leigh Montville is a fine writer, but I really don't envy him taking on this huge project. When you think about it, Babe Ruth retired from baseball in 1935 and just seemed to quietly fade away. He was dead not long after World War II. But Ted Williams, as Montville says, lived a whole life after baseball -- and a lot of really painful, ugly, shocking stuff went on in that lif [...]



    2. This is a revealing biography for baseball and Ted Williams fans. Ted Williams was a complex man who could be classified as a good man but he had a temper. He was not a prima donna because he said he was the best hitter in the history of baseball because it was the truth. He was blunt and honest to his detriment. He said what was in his heart. Much is revealed about the man by learning of his childhood. He had a difficult childhood by his athleticism carried him through tough times. He did not h [...]


    3. A great book, a storied and some times troubled life - I simply have no criticism of this book. I read this for the sake of a friend and an interest in the game of baseball. From a historical point of view this book holds interest of a sport time frame that has gone by. I have to admit that as a hockey guy I was pleased to see that Ted Williams had a friendship and fishing time with Bobby Orr the Hockey Hall of Fame player of the famous 1972 Stanley Cup team. I truly enjoyed the fishing stories [...]


    4. I had no idea what a pain this athlete was to those around him. How sad that a man of such greatness is shrouded in all the mire.


    5. This book could have been half as long. A lot of really boring details. It took me forever to read as I continually lost interest.


    6. (Written in 2004)There are few names in baseball that evoke reverence (and perhaps disgust) like the name Ted Williams. Teddy Ballgame was truly one of the game’s greats. Depending on who you ask, he was easily one of the three or four greatest to play the game. There have been a lot of books about or even by Williams, and this is one of the best. Ted Williams: The Biography of an American Hero vividly captures the complex, combative Williams from his rough childhood all the way to his death a [...]


    7. I am drawn to Ted Williams for his single-minded dedication to his vocation. He was a man who cared almost exclusively about accomplishing one thing: being the best hitter in baseball. Until his retirement from the game, his whole life focused on perfecting his craft. He saw his calling clearly and built his life around it. I cannot help admire his certainty of self and his dedication (perhaps obsession), even while recognizing the costs it entailed. His success is legendary.Jeanne gave me this [...]


    8. Ted Williams is my hero. Not because he was a perfect example of how a man should conduct himself through life, but because he achieved such a high degree of accomplishments in spite of his personal shortcomings.Leigh Montville does a wonderful job of personally connecting the reader with the subject, through the myriad of highs and lows of his long and ridiculously eventful life. Through the fractured childhood, the awkward growing periods, the realization of the mammoth potential, we are given [...]


    9. I heard his name. I have seen the numbers, but now I met the man. I got the full story. I thought the author did a great unbiased view.So much information that i learned i thought was most interesting:- he was born and raised in San Diego (lucky!).- there was hardly any baseball in southern california at the time- he had a few high impact mentors- he had a near perfect swing from an early age- His mother was big into salvation army and lived a binary view of this world. often left to be at home [...]


    10. I love Ted Williams. We was, as the subtitle says, my hero. When I was young, both "My Turn at Bat" "The Science of Hitting" were favorites. And so I wanted to like this book. And I did like this book. I just didn't love it.I did learn more details about his playing life and his military record. And these things raised my esteem for him. Then the book told me things I didn't know--mostly about the infighting in his family. And, frankly, I didn't care to know it. I guess that's what bothers be ab [...]


    11. Leigh Montville's biography of Ted Williams is exhaustive in its analysis of one of baseball's greatest hitters. At times childish and self-absorbed, but always focused upon his art, Ted Williams emerges as a troubled genius in this wonderful book. Some of the anecdotes about Williams' intensity evoke a character who loves a few things in life to obsessive delight while ignoring almost everyone and everything else. An absolute master in the science of hitting a baseball, Williams loves his talen [...]


    12. I was worried because this same author's book on Babe Ruth was only 'ok' - however, turns out that he grew up in Boston, worked for the Globe, so the topic of Ted Williams is clearly in his wheelhouse. Great read! You'll learn about Ted's Mexican American upbringing, being a Marine fighter pilot, all the travails with the press in Boston, Sears, fishing, . and finally his body being frozen by his crazy, nutty kid John Henry. Not a likeable character to me, but definitely a fascinating one. A mus [...]


    13. Leigh Montville's life of Ted Williams is a brilliantly written and eye-opening biography, filled with details that are harrowing and heartwarming, and which ultimately provide a very human look at a man who was larger than life. There was much more to Teddy Ballgame than baseball, starting with the fact that he was Latino. I highly recommend this book to baseball fans looking to expand their understanding of one of the great figures of the game.


    14. Good biography, dragged a little at times but overall it was complete and well written. It is clear the author is a Ted Williams fan, but really, are there any baseball fans who aren't? This book gives great insight into the life of Ted, I just wish there had been a longer focus on his playing career.


    15. Another great baseball read. I read a biography he wrote about Babe Ruth and really liked it so I went for this one too. Here's what I knew about Ted before the book: a really great hitter, head is cryogenically frozen. It was very interesting to learn about his life and baseball prowess. His baseball career is over by the middle of the book and rest is basically about fishing, but whatever.


    16. One of a very, very few sports biographies I've read that actually reads like a good, entertaining book. It is a full portrait of Williams, warts and all, although the very unsympathetic portrayal of his son John-Henry seems a bit one sided.


    17. This was a marvelous biography. Montville did not hold back on the negative stuff, nor did he dwell on it. There were many references to old ball players, which I loved. And many interesting details that I did not know. The writing was in a casual style which seemed appropriate.


    18. A well balanced and complete biography that captures all of Ted's contradictions. It was fun to read and provided insights into some of the great moments of baseball history and many of the back stories.


    19. The book that I read for my outside reading book was Ted Williams, a biography written by Leigh Montville. It was about Ted Williams who was a famous baseball player for the Boston Red Sox. The book takes place in many places, but its main setting is in Boston while he was playing baseball. The main characters in the book were Ted himself and his rival Joe DiMaggio. They spent most of their time as rivals but learned to get along during the War. I got the idea to get this book because I like pla [...]


    20. Maybe a spoiler. Prior to reading this book, all I knew about Ted Williams as a huge baseball fan was that he hit over 400 one season, close to it in others, served in the military, and wanted to be carbon froze upon his death so that in the future the technology could bring him back to life. I have always looked upon his legacy in a favorable light. After completing this book though, I realize he was kind of a jerk. Maybe that is a little harsh, but as a player he seems like the type that I wou [...]



    21. This is pretty much word candy for a Sox fan. Montville and Williams are the best pairing of subject and author maybe ever.


    22. The Kid. The Splendid Splinter. Teddy Ballgame. "The Greatest Hitter of the Modern Era." There's really nothing left to say about Ted Williams that hasn't been said in triplicate, somewhere, sometime. He was not a very likable guy, mistreated his wives, most of those around him, sportswriters (natch, those "Knights of the Keyboard"), Bostonians (ptoo!), but was kind to children, and especially the Jimmy-Fund kids - going strong after 60 years, the Jimmy Fund supports Boston's Dana-Farber Cancer [...]


    23. Eye opening, revealing, strange, sad.I thought this was an excellent book about Ted Williamsa book that surprised me in not only addressing the things I did know, but more about the things I didn't know. Leigh Montville pulled no punches in writing this biography which not only showed Ted Williams as a player who could back up his talk with his bat; but also showed the darker sides of the last man to hit over .400 for a major league season.It was the off-the-field exploits of Williams that surpr [...]


    24. The great Ted Williams. He would have been the greatest, no doubt, if he hadn't spent 5 years of his prime to fight in 2 wars. what creates a great hitter?Underneath this foul-mouthed, outdoorsman, SOB who could hit for nothing one is inclined to think what drove such a man.Having a mother who would rather sing and play with the Salvation army then raise children and an alcoholic father who abandons you can lead to some seruis issues with abandonment and lack of self-worth. At a young age Ted wa [...]


    25. A pretty okay book about a pretty neat book. Like Stan Musial: An American Life and Willie Mays: The Life, the Legend, this book is by a sports writer doing history. As such, there's not a lot of sophisticated critical analysis about much of anything, but there's countless quotes from hundreds of people who were associated with Ted Williams. I wish there was more on how Boston fans and ownership felt about Williams, because there's lots about how he and the media clashed. Did Mexican Americans o [...]


    26. Indulge me, at the start of this book review on Leigh Montville's Ted Williams: The Biography of an American Hero, to send a personal message to the author. Mr. Montville: When using an abbreviated word as an adjective, there is a proper rendering. Let's use the word "stinking." As in, "This stinking guy" To abbreviate this word properly as an adjective, you simply remove the "G" and add an apostrophe. "Stinkin'." Pretty simple. Not "Stinken," which for some reason you continually chose. At leas [...]


    27. the best book I read in a long time This book ( in my opinion ) is a 6 star book. I am just a regular red sox fan, and I didn't know much about Ted williams before I picked up this book. All I knew was that Ted Williams was a great player for the red sox, ( and pretty much the best in MLB history ) and I wanted to learn more about him. This book looked pretty interesting, so I started reading, and I had no regrets of EVER starting it. Ted Williams was a angry man; he had very short temper, but o [...]


    28. Quite possibly the crudest mouth on a person who ever walked the city streets of Bostond that's saying something. Coincidentally, Ted Williams lived a life so generous and adventurous that while you are reading his story you will feel ashamed for not living as compassionately. Imagine if Michael Jordan signed up as an Air Force pilot for the Iraq war at the height of his athletic ability? Essentially that's what the last man to ever hit for above a .400 average did for his country. Ladies and Ge [...]


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