2012 45¢ Ted Williams
Issue Date: July 20, 2012
City: Cooperstown, NY
Printed By: Avery Dennison
Printing Method: Photogravure
Perforations: Die Cut 11
The greatest baseball players of the past and present gathered in Boston for the 1999 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. Before the game, an old man in a golf cart rode out to the field. Superstars and Hall-of-Famers gathered around him, bouncing like puppies, asking for autographs, all seeking their personal moment with former Boston Red Sox great Ted Williams (1918-2002).
Williams ranks among the all-time great hitters – 521 home runs, 2,654 hits, a .344 batting average, 2,021 walks, and 1,839 runs batted in. The legendary numbers were all the more remarkable for the five seasons lost to military service in World War II and the Korean War. Even his wartime duty was the stuff of legends – as a fighter pilot, he was wingman for future astronaut John Glenn.
Williams had a difficult relationship with both fans and journalists, never acknowledging their cheers or boos. In 1960, in the last at bat of his final game, he hit a home run into the bullpen. The fans roared, urging him to come out. Author John Updike wrote: “Though we thumped, wept, and chanted…he did not come back. Gods do not answer letters.”
But in 1999, Ted Williams – Teddy Ballgame, the Splendid Splinter, The Kid – tipped his cap to the adoring crowd.