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Tough breaks for Teddy Ballgame

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  • Tough breaks for Teddy Ballgame

    Reading some other threads in this forum has caused me to wonder:
    How many "tough breaks" did Ted Williams have in his career, which caused his career stats to be less impressive than they would be if he had played his entire career "under today's rules".

    Some examples:
    (1) Sacrifice Fly rule: Most hitters prior to 1938 and all hitters after 1953 have benifitted from the "Sacrifice Fly" rule. Ted played most of his career without benefit of this rule. His career batting would likely be .347 rather than .344 if the SF rule were in effect all of his career.

    (2) If the 1949 season were played "under today's rules", Williams would most likely have won the AL Batting Crown that year. That would have given Ted a seventh batting title and his third "Triple Crown".

    (3) Qualification rules for a batting crown: Minimum at-bats needed to earn a batting title were not well defined prior to 1940, and many batting crowns were won with less than 100 games or fewer than 350 at-bats. But by 1949 the qualification rule was made very specific: minimum of 400 at-bats. Ted had the AL's highest BA in 1954 but because he had so many walks and thus fell short of the required 400 AB , Ted lost that batting crown to Bobby Avila.

    A few years later the rule was changed to what it is today: 3.1 PLATE APPEARANCES per scheduled game. If Barry Bonds had played under the 1949 rules he would not have qualified for batting crowns in 2002 or 2004. Under today's rules Ted would have won the 1954 AL batting crown.

    (4) World War II: Not a rule change here, but talk about tough breaks! Yes, hundreds of MLB players lost 2, 3 or even 4 years due to military service in WWII -- but few lost such potentially great seasons. Ted hit .406 in 1941, then had a Triple Crown season in 1942. Returning to Boston after three years as a Marine pilot, Ted was voted MVP in 1946 and earned his second Triple Crown in 1947. He missed 3 years at his peak (ages 24-25-26). What might he have done had the war not cancelled out those years?

    I guess I'm just feeling sorry for my boyhood hero -- but does anyone have anything else to add to this list?
    Last edited by Appling; 02-12-2006, 06:47 PM.
    Luke

  • #2
    Originally posted by Appling
    Reading some other threads in this forum has caused me to wonder:
    How many "tough breaks" did Ted Williams have in his career, which caused his career stats to be less impressive than they would be if he had played his entire career "under today's rules".

    Some examples:
    (1) Sacrifice Fly rule: Most hitters prior to 1938 and all hitters after 1953 have benifitted from the "Sacrifice Fly" rule. Ted played most of his career without benefit of this rule. His career batting would likely be .347 rather than .344 if the SF rule were in effect all of his career.

    (2) If the 1949 season were played "under today's rules", Williams would most likely have won the AL Batting Crown that year. That would have given Ted a seventh batting title and his third "Triple Crown".

    (3) Qualification rules for a batting crown: Minimum at-bats needed to earn a batting title were not well defined prior to 1940, and many batting crowns were won with less than 100 games or fewer than 350 at-bats. But by 1949 the qualification rule was made very specific: minimum of 400 at-bats. Ted had the AL's highest BA in 1954 but because he had so many walks and thus fell short of the required 400 AB , Ted lost that batting crown to Bobby Avila.

    A few years later the rule was changed to what it is today: 3.1 PLATE APPEARANCES per scheduled game. If Barry Bonds had played under the 1949 rules he would not have qualified for batting crowns in 2002 or 2004. Under today's rules Ted would have won the 1954 AL batting crown.

    (4) World War II: Not a rule change here, but talk about tough breaks! Yes, hundreds of MLB players lost 2, 3 or even 4 years due to military service in WWII -- but few lost such potentially great seasons. Ted hit .406 in 1941, then had a Triple Crown season in 1942. Returning to Boston after three years as a Marine pilot, Ted was voted MVP in 1946 and earned his second Triple Crown in 1947. He missed 3 years at his peak (ages 24-25-26). What might he have done had the war not cancelled out those years?

    I guess I'm just feeling sorry for my boyhood hero -- but does anyone have anything else to add to this list?
    Ted's elbow break in the 1950 ASG.

    Comment


    • #3
      Tough breaks for Teddy Ballgame

      Originally posted by wamby
      Ted's elbow break in the 1950 ASG.
      He lost 2 years to Korea also
      Lets support Gil Hodges for The Hall of Fame, a true Hall of Famer.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by kramer_47
        He lost 2 years to Korea also
        And almost lost his life.

        Bob

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        • #5
          On a lesser note, his lack of foot speed didn't help him any.
          Buck O'Neil: The Monarch of Baseball

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          • #6
            He was hit in the elbow (?) shortly before the 1946 World Series. Not positive where he was hit, but he wasn't 100%. Not that he complained about it or used it as an excuse.
            Dave Bill Tom George Mark Bob Ernie Soupy Dick Alex Sparky
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            • #7
              nevermind....corrected myself...

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Captain Cold Nose
                He was hit in the elbow (?) shortly before the 1946 World Series. Not positive where he was hit, but he wasn't 100%. Not that he complained about it or used it as an excuse.
                He got hit during a poorly attended exhibition game.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Had Williams played in those lost seasons there is no guarantee that he would have played until 1960. He may have retired in, say, 1956. He might have gotten hurt in one of the lost seasons. Who knows? :noidea
                  Last edited by Honus Wagner Rules; 02-13-2006, 05:24 PM.
                  Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules
                    Had Williams played in those lost seasons there is guarantee that he would have played until 1960. He may have retired in, say, 1956. He might have gotten hurt in one of the lost seasons. Who knows? :noidea
                    Williams did retire after the 1954 season, I believe. His retirement was short-lived though. I think he missed about the first six weeks of the 1955 season.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by wamby
                      Ted's elbow break in the 1950 ASG.
                      As I remember, Ted was having his best HR season ever prior to the 1950 ASG break (and injury).
                      Luke

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                      • #12
                        How about if the AL had put in the DH in the late 50's? I'd bet he would have played 4 more years.
                        It Might Be? It Could Be?? It Is!

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                        • #13
                          Tough breaks for Teddy Ballgame

                          Originally posted by 64Cards
                          How about if the AL had put in the DH in the late 50's? I'd bet he would have played 4 more years.
                          The one thing that hurt Ted the most was losing 5 years to the military, he also had 2 other seasons cut short by injury, can you imagine what his stats would have looked like with those 7 full seasons.
                          Lets support Gil Hodges for The Hall of Fame, a true Hall of Famer.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by kramer_47
                            The one thing that hurt Ted the most was losing 5 years to the military, he also had 2 other seasons cut short by injury, can you imagine what his stats would have looked like with those 7 full seasons.
                            We can say that about many players in baseball history. Williams was somewhat injury prone. That is a part of who he was. I believe that had Williams not missed those seasons he would NOT have played until 1960.
                            Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Tough breaks for Teddy Ballgame

                              Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules
                              We can say that about many players in baseball history. Williams was somewhat injury prone. That is a part of who he was. I believe that had Williams not missed those seasons he would NOT have played until 1960.
                              You are probably right, I was just looking at his record and saying it could have been but who knows we are just speculating. I'm saying this and I'm not really a Ted fan I didn't like the way he was as a person when he played and after he retired but he was a great player.
                              Lets support Gil Hodges for The Hall of Fame, a true Hall of Famer.

                              Comment

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