Williams said it more as if to convince himself, wondering, as do the fans, what the secret is.
FROM HITS TO FISH
"I just hope the fans think I'm a pretty good hitter. I'm glad the fans are there, but I'm not too worried about what they think. They get carried away once in a while. I'll tell you something about me. It's hard for me to brag about my hitting, but it ain't hard for me to brag about my angling."
There was a new note in Williams' voice. He lapsed into a monologue about his fishing conquests.
"I've caught more tarpon over 50 pounds with a fly rod than any other guy in the history of angling. I've caught a 52-pound tarpon on spinning equipment, using 8-pound test monofilament. It won the Metropolitan Miami Fishing Tournament in the spinning division last winter," boasted Williams, who has twice won the Most Valuable Player award, but would never mention that in any conversation. "I caught the eighth largest black marlin ever caught on rod and reel, 1,235 pounds—in Peru.
"I've caught six fish over 70 pounds on fly rod. There's been one fish caught over 100 pounds on a fly rod. That's my own equipment I use. I'm president of Ted Williams, Inc. which is manufacturing what I think is the best line of fishing rods and spinning reels in the country. I'm part owner of the biggest fishing tackle distributing company in the country, Southern Tackle Distributors in Miami.
" Sammy Snead is a stockholder, in fact, he's a vice-president, but one of the things I'm going to dedicate myself to after I get through with baseball—I'm going to teach Sam Snead how to fish," Williams laughed.
" Snead did catch the biggest bonefish that had ever been caught on 12-pound test line. Fifteen pounds even. But never anything else like that. I caught one of the biggest bonefish ever caught in the Keys, where I live, 12 pounds, 10 ounces on a spinning reel. I can cast 150 feet with a fly rod, but I don't think my being a ballplayer helps me as a fisherman.
"The thing I'm going to do when I get through playing baseball—and I think my 'blaze of glory' is about over—I'm going to concentrate on the greatest library of TV pictures that's ever been compiled on fishing and where to go fishing. At least that's our goal. I'm associated with Beacon Television Features. After the baseball season is over, I'm going to be up in New Brunswick fishing for Atlantic salmon in the greatest streams on the North American continent.
"Sure, I read Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea, but I never could've sat in that boat as long as the old man did. First of all, it wouldn't take me that long to catch that fish—if I caught it. Why, I got that 1,235-pound black marlin in 28 minutes.