All-time rankings with updated totals for Red Sox star Ted Williams
What would these projections do to his career numbers? Assume that his actual totals from his partial 1952-53 seasons are replaced by our full-season projection.
Actual career: 2654 hits, 521 home runs, 1839 RBI, 1798 runs scored, 2021 walks
Updated career: 3497 hits, 678 home runs, 2435 RBI, 2414 runs scored, 2735 walks
Here’s how those updated totals would rank in MLB history.
Hits: 6th (leader – Pete Rose, 4256)
Home runs: 5th (leader – Barry Bonds, 762)
RBI: 1st (actual leader – Hank Aaron, 2297)
Runs: 1st (actual leader – Rickey Henderson, 2295)
Walks: 1st (actual leader – Barry Bonds, 2558)
The updated totals give Williams a comfortable enough cushion in RBI, runs and walks that even the most conservative estimates of production from his five lost seasons would make him the all-time leader in those categories.
Williams wouldn’t have come anywhere near the all-time hits record set by Rose, who played 24 seasons and walked at a much lower rate. He realistically would have passed Derek Jeter (2465) for sixth with a shot at catching Tris Speaker (3514) to crack the top-five.
We may never see anyone top Bonds’ steroid-inflated home run total but Williams was an elite power hitter. He’s tied for 20th on the all-time list despite his military service costing him significant time. An extra five seasons would be enough to vault him into the top-five and he might have had a chance to reach 700 home runs, which has only been done by three major league hitters (Bonds, Aaron, Ruth).
Keep in mind that these projections are fairly conservative. We can’t rule out the possibility of a career-year boosting his production even further, especially if he was playing against watered-down competition in years while stars from other teams were away at war.