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Ted Williams: A Baseball Life Paperback – September 1, 2000

4.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Williams, perhaps baseball's greatest hitter, was a controversial figure during his playing years. His baiting of the press, especially in Boston where he spent 19 years with the Red Sox, is almost as legendary as his swing. Seidel, author of Streak: Joe DiMaggio and the Summer of '41 (LJ 5/1/88), researched contemporary records and interviewed Williams's acquaintances for this book. Many of Williams's cohorts had few positive things to say about the legendary ballplayer. However, Seidel manages to keep his account balanced, painting a larger picture of the nature of baseball in the 1940s and 1950s. Others have chronicled Williams's life, most notably the ballplayer himself in the classic My Turn at Bat ( LJ 8/1/69), but Seidel's work should stand the test of time as an accurate, evenhanded portrait. This is recommended for young adults and general collections.
- Cindy Faries, Pennsylva nia State Univ. Lib., University Park
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"There have been dozens of books on the Splendid Splinter over the years; Seidel's is one of the best at capturing the many facets of Williams' mercurial personality and the rhythms of Boston society during his years as baseball's finest hitter."—USA Today Baseball Weekly
(USA Today Baseball Weekly)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 420 pages
  • Publisher: Bison Books (September 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803292805
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803292802
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,869,972 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ted Williams is a fascinating sports figure. The greatest hitter to ever play the game of baseball, and yet one of the most criticized of players. He had a hate-hate relationship with the media that dogged him his whole baseball life. Seidel's book provides a good account of Williams' rise to baseball greatness and his struggles with the media and the fans. He does a good job balancing between the media's take and Williams' take on the causes of the strife. He doesn't get too much into his personal life except as affected his baseball life. A nice feature of the narrative is that Seidel references contemporaneous events to provide historical context to the events of baseball.

Personally, I don't get a lot out of detailed accounts of baseball games from a half a century ago. Some of it is interesting, but Seidel does a season by season exposition and throws a lot of stats out there. It tended to blur together, and I often lost the thread. The most interesting parts where the accounts and testimony from Williams and his contemporaries. Overall, I am glad I read it, but I'd only recommend it to hard core baseball readers or Williams' fans.
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Format: Paperback
I am not the type of person to pick up a book about a sports figure even if I am a fan. I love history books especially Civil War, Napoleonic history and biographies of great leaders. I surprised myself by taking the time to read this book. If you are interested in Ted Williams or baseball especially during the era in which he played 1939-1960, this book could not be rated higher. The author has an introduction of Teds early life and then the remainder of the book is broken down so that each chapter covers a year of his career. This puts Teds life in context of World events which the author neatly weaves within its pages. During his career Ted Williams displayed and developed his hitting skills with the desire of becoming the "greatest hitter who ever lived". Hitting the ball was his obsession. His great desire to excel however was balanced by a contentious personality which was easily set off by the goading of the Boston media. Looking at his stats and realizing that almost 5 years of his life during his prime was spent in the military, I have no doubt that he would have broken Ruth's home run record. Ted Wiliams was both an artist and a scientist at hitting. He studied pitchers, strike zones, handling the bat like no other player. When Mickey Mantle was asked about converstaions with Ted Williams on hitting he said "He makes me crazy." Mickey Mantle did not understand the science of hitting.
Ted Williams probably was the greatest hitter that ever lived, but his personality marred his relationships with the Boston media, sometimes his team mates, and his own family.
I do have a few criticisms however. The book is called A Baseball Life, and that is the authors focus.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good scholarship and all but I had a hard time reading it for some reason. I usually eschew bookmarks as I easily remember where I was in a book but with this one I'd put the book down and upon picking it back up I could not find my place again and end up re-reading a section before I realized I'd been there, done that. Never had that problem before and reading it was likewise a bit of a slog but I soldiered on. I bet I learned something new about Ted but can't remember what it might be.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent
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By A Customer on September 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
this is the best book i have ever read if i had the time i would read this book a hundred times. The reason i bought this book is because ted williams is the best hitter in baseballs long history.
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