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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hitters of the past.

Posted by: Jude (wayout1@columbus.rr.com) on Mon Sep 8 01:28:06 2008

Tim I would have been disappointed if you had not ignored apologizing for your racially offensive remark (not knowing what color skin any of us has), and blaming Williams' use of the term "dumb pitchers". Typically, in this regard, Williams never singled out anyone. He was known as a great team mate, and someone who was never critical of present day players. In his Hall of Fame induction speech he bemoaned the fact that blacks had been kept out of baseball for so long, and denied the opportunity to be in the Hall of Fame. Oh yes, Williams' mother was Mexican. As latch key children he and his brother had a rough childhood.

If anyone earned the right to be critical of pitchers it was Williams. Certainly he earned that right more than you did when you referred to, "a bunch of old white guys expressing deep seeded racist sentiments."

You apparently are blind to the fact that Williams 483% on base average was the highest in baseball. This means that his out percentage was the lowest in baseball. This also meant that his philosophy of getting a good pitch to hit entailed, reading the pitch and the pitcher paid off big. For Williams getting hits and walks was built around not swinging at pitches out of the strike zone, or swinging at the pitcher's pitch with less than two strikes.

At a restaurant meeting with Boggs, Mattingly, and sports writer Gammons, Williams made this statement: "A great hitter should walk three times for every strikeout." (This was a standard that Williams was able to meet most of his years.) Boggs asked him about twice for every strikeout. Williams indicated that wasn't enough because a hitter would still be swinging at too many pitchers' pitches. Williams went on to say "There are some hitters who had pretty good years, but now they're starting to filter down because pitchers know they'll swing at two or three balls. I can name you one in Boston who had some great years, but it's been steadily downhill since then. How the hell could the stupid American League pitchers let this guy hit like he did. They just weren't bearing down on him in the first three or four pitches...."

When Gammons asked Williams who was the toughest pitcher for him he replied "Boy, Bob Feller had great stuff. I can't name one who was toughest for me but Eddie Lopat and Whitey Ford were really tough because they never gave me a pitch to hit. Bob Lemon was as tough as anyone."

When asked, did you have pitchers who went right after you and challenged with fastballs?" Williams respoded, "I think the hardest thrower I ever faced was Virgil Trucks. He threw as hard as Feller. DiMaggio said he was the hardest thrower he ever faced. I hit more home runs off him than any pitcher because he challenged me." The bottom line is that 90 + mile hour pitches could not be as, Feller put it, sneaked by Williams. Control pitchers like Ford who didn't give Wiliams pitches he could hit consistently hard were more troublesome.

As manager of the Washington Senators the one thing that Williams did well his first year was to tell his players what they could expect from the opposing pitchers. He was right often enough that there was a dramatic increase in his players batting averages. As Epstein, one of his players then, has stated, he never bothered with anyone's mechanics.

There is a reason why Williams said that htting was 50% above the neck. He understood that aspect of hitting and showed so with his career stats.

Tim I won't be writing any more for you. I joined in on this thread because it gave me an opportunity to focus in on two aspects that I have written about before, namely: The effects of performance enhancing drugs on baseball, expecialy hitting, and Ted Williams, who I don't think is fully appreciated in spite of the many references to him.

When I wrote about things you disagreed with I was in most instances a second hand source. The information came from the media in almost every instance. Rather than nit pick to arrive at questionable conclusions on this site go to those individuals or media sources and share your conclusions with them.

If anyone else is reading this posting. I would like to refer him to my steroid related posting on July 27,07. This was the Mickey Mantle topic. Also I wrote a January 14, 08 posting focusing on Williams. I forget the name of the topic, but I am sure that it has something to do with hitting.


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