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TED WILLIAMS AT MIDSTREAM
John Underwood
June 29, 1981
At 62, the Splendid Splinter is none too slender, but he still is hard-hitting when talking of baseball and the outdoor life
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June 29, 1981

Ted Williams At Midstream

At 62, the Splendid Splinter is none too slender, but he still is hard-hitting when talking of baseball and the outdoor life

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"No. Ruth and Gehrig," said the white-haired man softly.

"Well, at least somebody around here has some class," Ted said, giving me a look.

What did Ted think of George Brett, the smiling man asked.

"Great. I saw him two years ago, and I thought then that he had it all going for him—great physique, great strength. And he's fearless at the plate. You'd be surprised how many so-called great hitters have more than a little fear up there."

"What makes Brett so good now?"

"For one thing, he's not really sure what he's doing that's right, but he isn't letting it bother him. For another, he's hitting to all fields, which is something I didn't do for a long time. But it's still surprising to me they haven't figured out how to pitch him. They don't seem to attack any particular area, to try to get a pattern. The low outside pitch was the toughest for me. I got a lot of those."

"You think it's right, all the money they're paying some of these guys now?" the smiling man asked.

"A player should get whatever he can while he can," said Ted. "For a long time the pendulum went the other way, and only a handful got anything. The question I have is how a .280 hitter can justify his millions in the fans' eyes or, worse, to himself. My last year I asked for a pay cut because I hadn't done a damn thing the year before. I couldn't justify the salary I was getting."

"I can just see that happening today," said the smiling man.

His father broke in to ask if Ted had ever wanted to manage the Red Sox.

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