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I am a high school English teacher in an urban high school in Oklahoma City. I am a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2309. I am a Democrat, a union activist and a worker for social justice. I also am a Christian (Congregationalist). I play chess and coach our school chess team.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

The Kid: The Immortal Life of Ted WilliamsThe Kid: The Immortal Life of Ted Williams by Ben Bradlee Jr.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is very well researched and attempts to balance the often contradictory sides of Ted Williams' personality. What is not in dispute is that Ted was the greatest pure hitter and greatest student of the art of hitting in baseball, something that is acknowledged as one of the most, not the most, difficult skills in sports.

Ted was also profane, abusive, and a total wreck as a husband and, until the very last years of his life, as a father. Even then he enabled a rather worthless son who exploited and tarnished Ted's legacy.

Williams was also a kind benefactor to many, particularly sick children through his support of the "Jimmy Fund" for sick kids, and out of his own time and money for which he demanded that no publicity be given.

Ben Bradlee's massive 850 page tome on Williams is very detailed, almost of the point of tedium, but still full of information and insight that make it indispensable in understanding Williams and obsessive sports psychology.

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