15 August 2007


Ted Williams was nicknamed "Teddy Ballgame." It meant he had intensity and focus, that is, a "gameface." My mother grew up with Williams, she was born and raised within walking distance of Fenway Park. My mother is beloved by all for her warmth and humor, but she will get in your face and talk some serious smack if you (1) dis Teddy or (2) suggest Barry Bonds is the greatest LF of all time. Otherwise she is a fine Giants fan, despite the Red Sox blood in her veins. Now, I appreciate Williams' greatness--if he hadn't lost 5 years to WWII and Korea (as a pilot!), we would be talking about Barry breaking HIS record, not Hank's. But Barry is the best, hands down (sorry, Ma). He is Williams with a great glove and blazing speed, and he is Williams' heir in terms of scientific hitting (plate discipline, concentration, studying pitchers, superb technique/mechanics). Here is another great Barry story (he only played 115 games in the minors over 2 seasons before being promoted):

"As a young kid, I had Ed Ott as a manager in Single-A ball and I'll never forget as long as I live -- he called me into the office and told me what the rules are. I asked him, 'How do you get out of the Minor Leagues?' He didn't say a word -- he went to my locker and got my bat and my glove and said, 'There you go, kid.' I said, 'I can do that.'"

08/13/2007 5:09 PM ET
New homer king pays visit to Pittsburgh
Bonds returns to city where he started his career
By George Von Benko / Special to MLB.com

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