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Saturday, September 13, 2003

Number Nine, No. Nine, # 9 

I went to the Boston Public Library to catch The Ted Williams Symposium. Ted is one of the most intriguing characters in baseball history and not just due to the fact that he was one of the greatest hitters. Ted also distinguished himself as a military hero in two wars and was a noted outdoorsman.

The Symposium was put together by the Boston chapter of SABR. If you are not familiar with SABR, Chris Dial's article on the organization is a pretty fair description. Check it, and SABR, out. I didn't stay the for the whole thing, but I did catch five presentations. Saul Wisnia of the Jimmy Fund spoke of the Splendid Splinter's involvement with that charity. Steve Buckley told a wonderful story about a photo of Ted and a young boy named Teddy Athis. I wish that I could find the pic and article online, but I can't so far. I know that many in the baseball blog world aren't enamored with the Boston sports "medea," but I liked the story. I don't want to digress into a discussion of Boston sportswriters, Bruce Allen pretty much covers that territory quite nicely. Ben Bradlee Junior spoke about a comprehensive biography of Williams that he is working on. I thought that Bradlee's name sounded familiar. I believe that his father was the editor of the Washington Post during the Watergate era. There aren't that many Bradlee's running around in the newspaper business, are there?

Moving right along, Bill Nowlin, the owner of Rounder Records talked about Ted's military career and discussed William's second career as a top fisherman, hunter, and conservationist.

To me, the most interesting presentation was that of David McCarthy. McCarthy is the executive director of the Ted Williams Museum in Hernando, Florida. I was not aware that such a place existed. In the museum is a Hitter's Hall of Fame. Ted used a secret formula to determine who should be eligible for this HOF. (In the future, I plan to discuss the various alternative halls of fame in cyberland.)

There has been alot of controversy surrounding Williams and his family since his death on July 5th, 2002. I did learn that his son John Henry may be suffering from leukemia. The disease seems to run in the Williams family. Ted's brother, Danny, succumbed to it in the 1960's. So what you want about John Henry, I do wish him well in his battles with health problems.

I did enjoy meeting with other baseball history buffs. I plan to do it a couple of more times this month. I will be attending another SABR chapter's semiannual meeting in Springfield, Massachusetts and a book discussion with David Arcidiacono at the Prosser Library in Bloomfield, Connecticut.

I hope to return soon with some more discussion about Connecticut baseball. If I don't see you again this weekend, have a good one.


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