Red Sox Legend Ted Williams’ Connection to the SouthCoast
Baseball Hall of Famer Ted Williams was a man of many exploits. He played 19 seasons for the Boston Red Sox from 1939-1942 and from 1946-1960, and has been long considered the greatest hitter in the history of Major League Baseball.
In 1942, Williams' playing career was interrupted when he was drafted to serve in World War II, which he did as a member of the Marine Corps and a Naval aviator. Williams also flew 39 missions in the Korean War in 1953.
Longtime Boston Globe Red Sox reporter Chad Finn said that Williams lived a "truly remarkable life" during an appearance on WBSM's SouthCoast Tonight to discuss the book he edited, The Boston Globe Story of the Red Sox: More Than a Century of Championships, Challenges, and Characters.
Finn said the book begins with a famous quote about Williams by the late astronaut and U.S. Senator John Glenn, who served in the same squadron as Williams in the Korean War.
"(Glenn) said Ted Williams was the the only person who was best in the world at three things: hitting a baseball, fishing and being a fighter pilot," Finn recounted.
The book is contains over 300 Boston Globe articles curated by Finn which catalogue the Globe's complete coverage of the Red Sox for over a century, from Williams' dominance to David "Big Papi" Ortiz leading the end of the franchise's 86-year title drought in 2004, and the three World Series victories that followed.
Finn said despite the book's extensive coverage of Williams, he could have made an entirely separate book containing solely articles of "Teddy Ballgame."
While most around the world remember Williams for his on-field greatness, many on the SouthCoast became familiar with him on a personal level at the Ted Williams Baseball Camp in Lakeville, Massachusetts.
The camp was founded in 1958 and ran for nearly three decades until 1986. The camp taught the Great American Pastime to thousands of kids from the SouthCoast and beyond. Today, the campgrounds still stand as a public park.
After discussing Williams and the camp with Finn, local callers dialed in to SouthCoast Tonight to share their personal stories of the Splendid Splinter.
One caller said her mother was a professional cook who worked at the camp. According to the caller, Williams signed her mother's recipe book with a note giving her cuisine high praise.
"It said: 'To Rosie. To the best meatloaf ever. Love Ted Williams,'" the caller said.
Another of the callers was the son of Joe Camacho, a New Bedford native and Red Sox player who was friends with Williams.
He said the camp employed his dad and many residents of Greater New Bedford.
Camacho's son said he knew Williams from the time he was three years old until Williams' death in 2002 and remembered him fondly.
"There's a lot more to be written even though there's a rich treasure of material about Ted because he was such an interesting in dynamic man," he said.
Listen to Boston Globe Red Sox Reporter Chad Finn discuss his book on SouthCoast Tonight