Skip to main content
Original Issue

Leading Off



COLOR PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPH BY HY PESKIN Sultan of Swing Ted Williams, who died on Friday (page 44), liked to talk about hitting almost as much as he liked to hit, as a few fans and teammates learned during spring training in 1956, a year in which the 38-year-old Splinter would bat .345.

COLOR PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPH BY FRED KAPLAN Senior SenatorIn 1971, the year he published his best-selling The Science of Hitting, Williams was in the midst of a four-season stint as manager of the Washington Senators/Texas Rangers. Williams was 52 at the time but was still probably a better hitter than most of the men who played for him.

COLOR PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPH BY RONALD C. MODRA Over the Plate Williams, who was generous with his wisdom even after he retired, remained, at the age of 67, the ultimate authority to great hitters of several generations, including Wade Boggs (left) and Don Mattingly.