Ted Williams

  • by Leigh Montville
  • Narrated by Scott Brick
  • 20 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

He was 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? New York Times best-selling author Leigh Montville 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' 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.


What the Critics Say

"Thanks to the author's ability to track down new sources of information, Montville presents a more nuanced portrayal of the baseball star than many previous biographies....An extraordinary glimpse into Williams' complex psyche." (Publishers Weekly)
"Montville...offers a warts-and-all portrait of the Red Sox star but also shows Williams' wit, empathy, intelligence, uncommon loyalty to those he called friends, and unswerving commitment to excellence." (Booklist)
"The strength of Montville's book derives from how Williams emerges from all of this not as victimized but as accountable. It is unlikely that any reader could view Ted Williams just as a ballplayer ever again." (The New York Times Book Review)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

An enjoyable listen for baseball buffs

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.
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- Champ

Very revealing

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?.
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- Joseph

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-21-2004
  • Publisher: Books on Tape