Ted Williams: Last At-Bat, Final Home Run
September 28, 2011 by PaulM Posted in Culture, History, Lowell 3 Comments
Thanks to Marie on Facebook for this link to This Day in History at history.com with the account of Ted Williams hitting a home run in his last time at bat in his career—in Fenway Park in 1960.
The moment was immortalized by young John Updike writing for the New Yorker. His piece was titled “Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu.” Read the Updike article here from baseball-almanac.com.
3 Responses to Ted Williams: Last At-Bat, Final Home Run
Today is also the 70th anniversary of Williams hitting .400 (.406), which of course was the time the feat was accomplished.
I’m going from memory here, but I believe that the year Williams hit .406, his average before the final day of the season was .3999999 or something like that which would have been legitimately rounded up to .400. The Sox were to play a meaningless double header that day. If Williams sat out both games, he would be guaranteed to have hit .400. He played both, went 6 for 8 combined, and finished a .406. No backing into it for Ted Williams.
Dick you are right in your historical recollection (as usual!)–Williams had an average of .3996 or .3997 prior to the doubleheader and as you note refused to back in to a .400 average.
I was one of ~15,000 fans who was at that last game in 1960 with my brother and grandmother who was a HUGE Williams fan who absolutely would not miss the final game of her hero–even to the point of allowing my brother and I to play hookie from school! (Shhh! Don’t tell my kids or grandkids!). I can remember my disappointment when he refused to come out of the dugout for a curtain call after the home run. And I was even more disappointed when he went out to his position in left field at the top of the eighth only to see Carroll Hardy trot out from the dugout to replace him. Then to almost add insult to injury, once again Teddy Ballgame refused to acknowledge the standing O us 15,000+ game him as he jogged into the clubhouse for the last time with his head down as if this was just the end of any other inning! As has been said by better writers than I (John Updike for one) Gods do not answer letters nor acknowledge their fans. See http://www.baseball-almanac.com/articles/hub_fans_bid_kid_adieu_article.shtml for a better description of that day than I could ever hope to provide