American Hall of Fame baseball player & fighter pilot; last baseball player to bat .400 in a season
- Hmmm... wait until Foxx sees me hit.
- Responding, circa spring 1938, to a veteran sportswriter's admonition to "Wait until you see Jimmy Foxx hit;" as quoted in "Fenwayite Should Dominate Picture for Many Years to Come" by Red Smith, in The Boston Globe (August 18, 1946), p. C33
- I sure have. I'd like to break every hitting record in the books. When I walk down the street, I'd like for them to say, "There goes Ted Williams, the best hitter in baseball."
- Responding to question posed by UP's George Kirksey, as to whether Williams had any desire to break Joe DiMaggio's newly set consecutive game hitting record; as quoted in "Ace Ted Williams is 'Bughouse on Basehits'; Red Sox Fielder Would Rather Hit than Eat" by Kirksey, in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (July 4 1941), p. 19
- Gee, I wish I could play here just one season just to see what I could do.
- Discussing Yankee Stadium, as quoted in "Ace Ted Williams is 'Bughouse on Basehits'"
- You know why that's my favorite hit? Well, they say that the only other two players who ever hit one over there were Ruth and Gehrig. But now they have to say "only Ruth, Gehrig and Williams ever hit one over there.' Yes sir, that's putting the old string bean in some pretty fast company when they say that.
- Discussing his 11th-inning home run of May 7, 1941, that cleared Comiskey Park's right field roof; as quoted in "Ace Ted Williams is 'Bughouse on Basehits'"
- If I'm gonna be a champion, I want to win as a champion. I'm staying in to the end.
- On his decision to override manager Joe Cronin's decision to sit him on Sunday, September 28, 1941, the final day of the season, in order to protect Williams' .400 average; as quoted in "Ted Williams Discusses Hitting and Ted Williams" by Arthur Daley, in The New York Times (August 18, 1947)
- The unbelievable part about the Babe, of course, was that he hit only 34 homers in the first two-thirds of the season and then smacked 26 homers in the final third. Wow! What a way to finish!
- On Ruth's record-breaking 1927 season; as quoted in "Ted Williams Discusses Hitting and Ted Williams" by Arthur Daley, in The New York Times (August 18, 1947)
- Why do they cheer me for hitting a homer and then boo me for grounding out the next time up. I'm still the same guy, ain't I? They can all go to hell. I'll never tip my cap to them.
- As quoted in "Black Hills Sport Scene" by Jack Cannon, in The Deadwood Pioneer-Times (April 7, 1950), p. 2
- Batting coaches are just as important as pitching coaches. Lefty O'Doul gave me good advice when he said: "Don't ever let them change you." I also asked for help from Cobb, Foxx and Hornsby.
- As quoted in "Here's the Pitch" by Frank Finch, in The Los Angeles Times (June 5, 1958), p. C2
- A man has to have goals — for a day, for a lifetime — and that was mine, to have people say, "There goes Ted Williams, the greatest hitter who ever lived."
- My Turn at Bat : The Story of My Life (1970), p. 7
- Variant: All I want out of life is that when I walk down the street folks will say, "There goes the greatest hitter that ever lived".
- Any pitcher throwing sinkers and hard sliders.
- Responding to the question, "Who was the toughest pitcher you faced during your career, and why was he a special problem for you?"; as quoted in "Hall of Famers Name Their Toughest Diamond Foes" by William Guilfoile, in The 1991 National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum Yearbook; reprinted in Baseball Digest (August 1992), p. 28
- A kid copies what is good. I remember the first time I saw Lefty O'Doul, and he was as far away as those palms. And I saw the guy come to bat in batting practice. I was looking through a knothole, and I said, "Geez, does that guy look good!" And it was Lefty O'Doul, one of the greatest hitters ever.
- The Sporting News (1994) [specific citation needed]
- If you don't think too good, don't think too much.
- As quoted in The Gigantic Book of Baseball Quotations (2007) edited by Wayne Stewart, p. 360
- I hope somebody hits .400 soon. Then people can start pestering that guy with questions about the last guy to hit .400.
Quotes about Ted WilliamsEdit
- Williams is one batter I thought would break my lifetime batting average of .367. If he'd learned to hit to left, Ted would have broken every record in the book.
- Ty Cobb, as quoted in "Here's the Pitch" by Frank Finch, in The Los Angeles Times (June 5, 1958), p. C2
- If he'd tip his cap just once, he could be elected mayor of Boston in five minutes. I don't think he will ever do it.
- Eddie Collins, as quoted in "Black Hills Sports Scene" by Jack Cannon, in The Deadwood Pioneer-Times (April 7, 1950), p. 2
- For my money, Ted Williams is the greatest hitter of all-time. I'd take him over Ruth, I'd take him over Cobb. I'd take him over Cobb because of the combination of power and average. I'd take him over Ruth because with Ruth, you can only speculate about what he would have done in the modern era. Ted Williams hit .388 at the age of 39 in 1957. He was what few of us ever become; he was exactly what he set out to be. He said he wanted to be able to walk down the street some day and have people say "There goes the greatest hitter who ever lived". And if they don't say that, it's only because they don't know what they're talking about.
- If we were choosing sides and every player was in the pool my first pick would be Whitey Ford and my second would be Ted Williams. Beyond that there would be just too many and I would be afraid of leaving somebody out. Besides, with Whitey on the mound and Williams in the lineup, the rest of the team wouldn't much matter; we'd still beat just about anybody.
- Mickey Mantle, as quoted in The Greatest Team of All Time: As Selected by Baseball's Immortals, from Ty Cobb to Willie Mays (1994), compiled by Nicholas Acoccella and Donald Dewey, p. 120