Teddy Ballgame may be the best pure hitter this game has ever seen. He was a career .344 hitter with a .482 OBP that still stands as the best career mark in history. Most players that hit for such a high average don’t produce lofty home run totals, but the Splendid Splinter did.
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Williams was a two-time MVP who finished as the runner-up four other times, while appearing on the ballot 18 times. The one season that he played where he wasn’t considered was in 1952 when injury limited him to 6 games.
Williams led the league in home runs four times, including a career-high 43 that he hit in 1949. He finished with 521, which is tied for 20th on the all-time list and the most in franchise history. Others that have played in Boston may be higher on the list, but none of them hit this many while wearing a Red Sox uniform.
Just imagine what his resume would look like if he hadn’t spent three years away from the league while serving in the military during World War II. Tack on three additional years of his prime (age 24-26) and we could be talking about Williams being in the top 10 on the all-time list, possibly even top 5!
He left for the war after leading the league with 36 home runs and finishing second in MVP voting. The fact that Williams didn’t miss a beat upon his return, smashing 38 homers and winning the MVP in his first season back in 1946, may be the most extraordinary accomplishment of his prolific career.
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