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Montville's study offers insides accounts of Williams's obsessive development as a hitter and his constant struggle to perfect his swing (mistakenly called "natural" by sports writers with little understanding of his extensive preparation). The chapter on 1941, perhaps the greatest year in his career, draws on research and interviews never before published. Montville lets whole passages stand uninterrupted--from Williams's manager, Joe Cronin, from his teammate Dom DiMaggio, and from other players and baseball officials who tell the story of Williams's quest for a .400 batting average. The tale of the final day of the season (when he refused to be benched and went six for eight in a double header to jump from .39955 to his final total, .406) is as pulse-pounding as any thriller.
Alongside its essential focus on Williams's baseball life, the book also delves into his military service during both World War II and the Korean War, his passion for sports fishing, and his commitment to helping children through the Jimmy Fund. Finally, Montville devotes a chapter to the controversy after Williams's death, exposing the back-and-forth among Williams's heirs in the bizarre decision to freeze his body in a cryogenic warehouse in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Montville's biography makes a good case that Williams was, if not the greatest hitter ever to play the game, certainly among them. For his focused, scientific approach to hitting, Williams is unmatched in the history of the game. His life, marred perhaps by a temper and occasional immaturity that soured his reputation in Boston, is one of true sports greatness. Early in the book, Montville argues that Williams is less appreciated today than he might be because he played out most of his 19-year career in the era before televised highlights. But with Montville's efforts to capture first-hand accounts of Williams's achievements, The Splendid Splinter's legacy is assured. --Patrick O'Kelley
I learned more about Ted Williams than I would have thought possible. A great insight.Published 1 month ago by RadioRob
really enjoyed it. The book even went into bizarre after death storyPublished 3 months ago by billp
Very well done in portraying Ted's life from beginning to end and after. In depth even re: important people in Ted's life but my favorite parts were those in which Ted was central. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Laramie
I was a radio sportscaster in the Washington, DC market thru out the 1970s. 1970, when Ted Williams was manager of the Senators, I had a exclusive interview with his 2nd wife... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Donald A. Newbery
Have always been a Ted Williams fan. This book goes into detail regarding many facets of Ted's life that I was previously unaware of. Read morePublished 9 months ago by benredbone
The book captured the real nature and personality of this person. Ted Williams was both very complex and, at the same time, very simple. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Kenneth Hokenson