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Most Hated Yet Respected Player Ever

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  • #16
    Bill James reports that "this may be hard for a younger fan to understand, but Ted Williams was every bit as unpopular, in his time, as Albert Belle is now (early 2000's). ... Ted Williams was despised everywhere in the American League, including Boston for at least the first half of his career. He took constant actions to reinforce that relationship. He splattered water coolers, including glass ones. He made obscene gestures at fans, carried on decades long vendettas against selected reporters, sometimes didn't treat his family well, sometimes didn't hustle or even make any show of hustling in the field or on the bases, was obsessed with his own success, was contemptuous of coaches ands some managers, and alternated, in his dealings with fans, between rugged charm and uncharted rudeness. ... Williams had a miserable childhood, ... By the time he was 20, Williams was insecure, moody and filed with hate."
    1. The more I learn, the more convinced I am that many players are over-rated due to inflated stats from offensive home parks (and eras)
    2. Strat-O-Matic Baseball Player, Collector and Hobbyist since 1969, visit my strat site: http://forums.delphiforums.com/GamersParadise
    3. My table top gaming blog: http://cary333.blogspot.com/

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    • #17
      Ty Cobb hands down.
      "Allen Sutton Sothoron pitched his initials off today."--1920s article

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      • #18
        Originally posted by 9RoyHobbsRF View Post
        Bill James reports that "this may be hard for a younger fan to understand, but Ted Williams was every bit as unpopular, in his time, as Albert Belle is now (early 2000's). ... Ted Williams was despised everywhere in the American League, including Boston for at least the first half of his career. He took constant actions to reinforce that relationship. He splattered water coolers, including glass ones. He made obscene gestures at fans, carried on decades long vendettas against selected reporters, sometimes didn't treat his family well, sometimes didn't hustle or even make any show of hustling in the field or on the bases, was obsessed with his own success, was contemptuous of coaches ands some managers, and alternated, in his dealings with fans, between rugged charm and uncharted rudeness. ... Williams had a miserable childhood, ... By the time he was 20, Williams was insecure, moody and filed with hate."
        That is ONE MAN's observation, generously laced with his own interjections [subjective to a considerable degree]. I, for one, am NOT "a younger fan" [for whom it is allegedly] "hard to understand." I am a geezer who followed Ted's career [like a Bible student memorizing verse], and observed from the stands some of his "nasty" behavior.

        As far as hustle is concerned, Ted had a crushed elbow and a fractured collar bone giving evidence to hustling catches and runs into walls. It was Ted who mentored Yaz on the challenges of Fenway's LF and the Green Monster. Ted had lapses when, in the field he was rehashing his last AB and what went wrong - bringing lapses in the field. That was early on, though.

        He also had a very salty tongue and cussed like hardened trooper. He tossed an occasional tantrum; but in Ted's case, it was over as quickly as it started.

        Grudges with SOME sportwriters were mightily provoked, with total omission from MVP upper consideration, to some misguided and incorrect initial coverages of personal events in Ted's family life [which were recanted - like on page 90B].

        If most of humanity had Ted's childhood, it, too would have had issues to grow out of ... as Ted did [for anyone willing to record the good along with the bad.

        Bill James is hardly an exemplar for establishing human worthiness within the species.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Ben Grimm View Post
          I remember the Pedro knockdown of Don Zimmer
          It was more of a hip toss.
          3 6 10 21 29 31 35 41 42 44 47

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          • #20
            Originally posted by leewileyfan View Post
            I'd also remove Jackie Robinson, who biased fans resented because of how good he really was. True, Jackie was a shrewd player of head games; and he knew just how to tweak the bile levels among those who "hated" him just for being. Anyone stupid enough to have been in that prejudiced and hateful company deserved all the aggravation Jackie could give them.
            I don't think a lot of hostility toward Robinson was race based. I see Robinson as a hard nosed player who was possibly loathed by fans around the league. He was not very diplomatic and probably antagonized a lot of people.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by leewileyfan View Post
              I would remove Ted Williams from any "despised" or "hated" list, for the simple reason that, at worst, fans got irked by his occasional hand and arm signals showing his lack of appreciation for them "riding" him. At worst, Ted generated some head scratching and nodding resentments, more conversation pieces than genuine animosity. Moreover, even his most serious detractors, had to be aware of his attitudes and good efforts for kids; his military service; and his post-baseball cumulative image].
              In the mid 50s I think Ted Williams was probably baseball's least popular superstar. I think a lot of it had to do with his attitudes about the Korean War and the post-war draft. He took a lot of heat in the press and I bet he took a lot of heat from fans in that era of hyper patriotism. During the early part of 1942 he also took a lot of heat (unfairly in my opinion) because he was vocal about continuing his baseball career until he was ready to enter military on his own terms.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by EdTarbusz View Post
                I don't think a lot of hostility toward Robinson was race based. I see Robinson as a hard nosed player who was possibly loathed by fans around the league. He was not very diplomatic and probably antagonized a lot of people.
                His first three years of pro ball, he didn't antagonize anybody. Per his promise to Branch Rickey, he took all the crap that was sent his way without retaliation. And most of it was race-based. By the time that three-year stipulation was up, he had had enough.
                They call me Mr. Baseball. Not because of my love for the game; because of all the stitches in my head.

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                • #23
                  When it comes to historical information Bill James is not very credible. When it comes to analyzing personalities from an armchair thousands of miles away and decades between him and the personalities he has about as much credibility as anybody who has little credibility when it comes historical information.

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                  • #24
                    There are also confirmed issues with Williams in the 1946 pennant winning season, throwing temper tantrums after hitting into the Boudreau shift, having disputes with teammates about his stubborness into still trying to pull the ball into the shift, not going to the team's victory party

                    attack James all you want, Williams record is there for anyone to see and it is NOT pretty
                    1. The more I learn, the more convinced I am that many players are over-rated due to inflated stats from offensive home parks (and eras)
                    2. Strat-O-Matic Baseball Player, Collector and Hobbyist since 1969, visit my strat site: http://forums.delphiforums.com/GamersParadise
                    3. My table top gaming blog: http://cary333.blogspot.com/

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      random items from the internet not attributed to Bill james

                      1) Williams, controversial to some baseball fans due to his generally abrasive personality and frequently abusive behavior

                      2) here is a quote from ubiquitous on this very forum: 'Ted did things in his life that were viewed as, and probably were, bad things"

                      3)Ted williams own daughter: She described dealing with her tempestuous father: “It was hard to keep up with his emotions. Of course it’s tough for a little kid to get yelled at

                      4) DiMaggio and Williams were very different kinds of ballplayers. DiMaggio cared about and cultivated his image; Williams thumbed his nose at fans and sports writers. Williams, despite his abilities as a hitter, was usually compared unfavorably to DiMaggio. Some of it had to do with Williams often-ornery personality.

                      5) Early in his career, he was heckled by fans. This started a sort of feud in which Williams never tipped his hat to the crowd until a speech in 1991.

                      took me about 7 minutes to find these
                      1. The more I learn, the more convinced I am that many players are over-rated due to inflated stats from offensive home parks (and eras)
                      2. Strat-O-Matic Baseball Player, Collector and Hobbyist since 1969, visit my strat site: http://forums.delphiforums.com/GamersParadise
                      3. My table top gaming blog: http://cary333.blogspot.com/

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by EdTarbusz View Post
                        In the mid 50s I think Ted Williams was probably baseball's least popular superstar. I think a lot of it had to do with his attitudes about the Korean War and the post-war draft. He took a lot of heat in the press and I bet he took a lot of heat from fans in that era of hyper patriotism. During the early part of 1942 he also took a lot of heat (unfairly in my opinion) because he was vocal about continuing his baseball career until he was ready to enter military on his own terms.
                        Ed, not to be argumentative; but by the mid '50s, I believe most Americans had come to respect Ted for his 5+ years of military service, a respect greatly enhanced by veteran's testimonials about what a great pilot he was and how meticulously he landed his plan that had been hit. Witness upon witness told of what a perfectionist he was, wanting to know every possible detail about the quirks, limitations and capabilities of the aircraft he was expected to pilot. He was as fixated on that as he was about hitting.

                        Then too, Ted had that special faculty of entering and exiting the baseball stage with a flair. He did tv promotions for the Jimmy Fund in NY [and I guess to a very broad audience]; and any "kid" who ever met him [like me, getting his autograph outside Yankee Stadium] can tell how great he was with kids. [He was called "The Kid" himself ... 'cause part of him hadn't fully grown up].

                        Lots of folks in the US had begun to sour on "saber rattling" and global engagements, especially when lots of families hung gold stars in windows for what the pols and historians were already calling "a police action." [Yeah, like mopping up ... only not quite so for those who served in Korea.

                        Personally, I volunteered for the draft as Korea was winding down. Even then, with less than a year to go, We "Frozen Chosen," north of the Arctic Circle, were put on full alert, the scuttlebutt being we were going to be shipped out to the Suez Canal.

                        The "War" thing was beginning to wear out its welcome, even among those proud to be doing their service time.

                        Yep, I recall the 1942 brouhaha, with Ted's mom and family issues ... but he did go - clean slate.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by 9RoyHobbsRF View Post
                          2) here is a quote from ubiquitous on this very forum: 'Ted did things in his life that were viewed as, and probably were, bad things"
                          There are several interviews Ted had in his later years, where he raises that point himself. He admits openly that he might have done some things a good deal better than he did at the time. Truth be told, ME TOO. [And lots of good, decent folks I know who have aged pretty well].

                          :3)Ted williams own daughter: She described dealing with her tempestuous father: “It was hard to keep up with his emotions. Of course it’s tough for a little kid to get yelled at
                          Oh, yes ... and others where she admitted some great moments were those shared with her father. When they were discussing Ted, post mortem, her recollections were essentially fond.

                          :4) DiMaggio and Williams were very different kinds of ballplayers. DiMaggio cared about and cultivated his image; Williams thumbed his nose at fans and sports writers. Williams, despite his abilities as a hitter, was usually compared unfavorably to DiMaggio. Some of it had to do with Williams often-ornery personality.

                          5) Early in his career, he was heckled by fans. This started a sort of feud in which Williams never tipped his hat to the crowd until a speech in 1991.
                          DiMaggio was extremely dedicated to his image. However, from eye witness experience, I can tell you, flat-out how wrong you are on accessibility. Often, DiMaggio could be seen exiting the Stadium from the Players' Exit flanked by two strapping guys, who would usher him through the crowds of fans, untouched an unscathed. Ted Williams would often stay behind as other players left the area, hanging back to sign autographs for kids. On one such occasion is how I got mine.

                          :took me about 7 minutes to find these
                          I am surprised it took you that long.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by 9RoyHobbsRF View Post
                            There are also confirmed issues with Williams in the 1946 pennant winning season, throwing temper tantrums after hitting into the Boudreau shift, having disputes with teammates about his stubborness into still trying to pull the ball into the shift, not going to the team's victory party

                            attack James all you want, Williams record is there for anyone to see and it is NOT pretty

                            Nobody's record is pretty. We are all humans and we all live complicated lives that don't follow a single simple narrative.

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                            • #29
                              ^ Cal Ripken, Tony Gwynn, Ken Griffey, Jr.

                              Williams fits this thread to a T and if you disagree so be it
                              1. The more I learn, the more convinced I am that many players are over-rated due to inflated stats from offensive home parks (and eras)
                              2. Strat-O-Matic Baseball Player, Collector and Hobbyist since 1969, visit my strat site: http://forums.delphiforums.com/GamersParadise
                              3. My table top gaming blog: http://cary333.blogspot.com/

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by 9RoyHobbsRF View Post
                                ^ Cal Ripken, Tony Gwynn, Ken Griffey, Jr.

                                Williams fits this thread to a T and if you disagree so be it

                                I think you need to do some more digging before you try to use those names as rebuttals to my point.

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