Theodore “Ted” Williams (1918-2002) played left-field for the Boston Red Sox from 1939-1960. His career was interrupted by military service in the Second World War (1943-1945) and Korea (1952-1953.) At the end of his playing days, Williams managed the Washington Senators/Texas Rangers. (1969-1972.)
A native Californian, “Teddy Ballgame” left baseball as one of the sports all-time greatest hitters, finishing his career with a remarkable .344 career batting average. Williams remains the last player to hit for over .400 in a season, a feat he accomplished in 1941. The six time American League (AL) batting champion and four time RBI leader not only hit for average, but for power as well, leading the league in home runs four times. He twice achieved baseball’s “triple crown,” leading the league in all three major offensive categories (1942& 1947.)
Williams served as an aviator in the U.S. military, finding himself in active combat during the Korean War. In 1953 his plane was hit by enemy fire and forced to crash-land.
Williams was twice named the AL Most Valuable Player and was selected to 19 All-Star Games. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George H.W. Bush in 1991.