Still a gangly teenager when he stepped into a Boston Red Sox uniform in 1939, Williams' 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' 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.
Ted Willams' 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. In death, controversy and public outcry followed Williams, the result of disagreements among his children over the decision to have his body preserved 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.
This book was well worth the time I invested. Having read about him in the fouth grade (about 35 year ago) I knew that he was great, arrogant, and very insecure. But this book taught me many things.
For instance, I never knew that he had a brother or that he was half-Mexican. (He was the first real Latino Superstar of professional sports.) I also never plumbed the depth to which his son John Henry would go to turn a buck.
If you can abide the extremely colorful languages (lots of ?F? bombs, and worse!), you will enjoy the book immensely.
As reprehensible a character as he was, he was just a insecure man with near god-like talent in several areas. Two things you?ll remember from this book are: ?Get a good ball to hit.? And, ?There goes that greatest hitter that ever played the game?.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Williams was such a mysterious person, it's great to hear such a well researched and interesting book. Williams was really the first to: have a bench coach as a manager and first to really market himself and his name after his career was over. Not to mention he was the last to hit 400 in a season. What a hitter and what a strange bird. The Narrator's mispronunciation of Filene's is painful. Shouldn't a story like this be read by someone familiar with the Boston area?
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Ted was larger than life and this book captures him. If you like baseball and enjoyed Summer of '49, George Will's baseball stories and the recent bio of Joe DiMaggio then try this one. The reader could have used a coach on Bostonese (e.g., frappe is a milk shake and rhymes with trap and is not prononced frap-pay) and baseball (Bobby Doerr's last name is mispronounced for half of the book, as are other baseball fgures, the plural of RBI should be pronounced RBI's, not RBI) but this is nit-picking in light of the content. The tidbits are intriguing, such as the night DiMaggio, Musial and Williams (just the three of them) spent an evening reminiscing in Williams' Florida home in the early '90's, Ted returning to Fenway after Korea, taking a few practice swings and deciding that home plate was "off"----- a surveying team later discovered it was one inch out of place...... Then there are details about his childhood that illuminate his attitude toward matters of faith and may explain how in the world he could end up with 2 children who who would have him decapitated and immersed upside down in a freezer vault.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful
Very comprehensive and fair. Williams comes accross as a lovebale yet flawed hero.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Loved this book! I'm not a baseball fan, but truly loved this book about a true American hero!
This was an amazing telling of an amazing life filled with highs and lows and stardom. Ted Williams has always been a "hero" of sorts in my eyes, but is more so now after listening to his full story so eloquently presented.
Though I am to young to ever seen Ted play, I fully admire him. This book gives a clear picture of who he was and what things he accomplished, good and bad. I loved the detail of the .406 season. I also feel terrible about how was treated late in life and how it all ended. Such a sad ending for such a great ballplayer and steward of outdoor sports.
Would you listen to Ted Williams again? Why?
Yes. There are so many side stories that I want to make sure I didn't miss anything
What did you like best about this story?
The depth. Amazing!
Which character – as performed by Scott Brick – was your favorite?
I think I like Louise. Quite the trooper. Not unlike many fans of Ted. Overlooked his many faults and remained enamored by him. Accepted him for who he was.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Yes, but time did not allow that
Any additional comments?
Scott Brick did a wonderful job!
Mr. Montville gives us the Ted Williams we baseball (particularly Red Sox nation) fans have been yearning for - unvarnished, revealing, insightful writing and the usual excellent narration by the peerless Scott Brick make this audiobook a "must-have" for your library. Even if baseball isn't a prime interest, this book offers a fascinating look at one of America's most perplexing personalities. I don't use the word "fascinating" lightly, this title will grip you and draw you in. If you are on the fence about purchasing this, it's ok to get off of it and click the button, you won't regret it!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book because of the priceless collection of great stories about this amazing man's life. The narrator sounds exactly like George Noory from "Coast to Coast AM". The writer takes great care to document Ted Williams early career, kind of speeds it up in later years and spends a little too much time talking about fishing. I felt it was a fair and respectful look at one of our National treasures.