|Posted by Radatz on July 11, 2017 at 10:00 PM|
I grew up with a guy we called Ghost. He was red-haired and freckled, and had to avoid sun or turn into a lobster, hence "Ghost." He went to BC undergrad, then law school. He spent a lot of time in Boston. In fact, the front page photo when the Red Sox won the pennant in 1967 (when we were still in high school) featured him and others holding Jim Lonborg on their shoulders. Two years later at Woodstock, he would manage to somehow end up on the album cover. He's clearly visible, back mostly turned, with his bright orange hair. I hadn't seen him since the early 90s when he moved away, and heard recently that he'd passed away too young.
Now to the point. He had accumulated all sorts of lore about Boston sports from his years there, a sample of which crossed my mind tonight, and I thought I'd relate it for you. It's a goodie, and I've never read it anyplace else. It is a Ted Williams story. What else? I thought of it while watching the All Star Game.
Williams was always at odds with the local sportswriters. One off day the usual gang of hounds were at the park to sniff for stories, and got into it with Williams. "How well do you really see the ball" he was asked. He replied "I can tell if I hit the ball on the flat or on the seam." This drew the usual laughter, and finally they went to the plate with a pine-tar-blackened bat and someone threw him ten pitches to hit. With each crack of the bat he'd yell "seam" or "flat", the pine tar leaving a mark. When it was over, he'd called 9 correctly. The other one was marginal. The writers had to admit he'd proven his point.
But the best was reserved for last. Whether Ted was serious or just jabbing the wounded writers one more time is a topic for conjecture, but he added the following: "Now I'm going to tell you something you wouldn't have believed before. I can see the ball compress against the bat!"
No one argued with him.
Categories: MLB Blogs