I consider Ted Williams a hero not onlybecause I am a devoted Red Sox fan, but also because of his achievementsoutside baseball. Williams was one of the greatest hitters ever as wellas a soldier in World War II and the Korean War. He should also behonored for his considerable involvement in the Jimmy Fund.
Tedbegan his service as a Marine Corps pilot in 1943 after playing with theRed Sox for their 1942 season. In 1952 he was sent to Korea after 10months of refresher training and soon was in combat where he was plaguedby pneumonia due to Korea’s damp climate. He was discharged inJuly of 1953 after five months of active combat.
Soon afterreturning home, Ted Williams became involved with the Jimmy Fund, anorganization that helps children with cancer. At the time, most childrendiagnosed with leukemia did not live and the Jimmy Fund was one of thefirst organizations focused on finding treatments. Williams waspassionate about the Jimmy Fund because his brother, who died in 1960,had had leukemia since he was a child.
All these achievements arein addition to those that occurred on the diamond. Ted Williams tookbaseball tremendously seriously and studied techniques, differentplayers in different positions, and the varied conditions.William’s dedication to the sport, particularly to hitting, wasnot common among athletes. If his dedication were not apparent from his19 seasons with the Red Sox, then it was certainly made so by his Hallof Fame induction in 1966 and his 521 home runs.
I hope Ted isremembered fondly not only by Red Sox fans or veterans or cancerpatients, but also by all those who believe in the basic principles ofhumanity and decency. Ted Williams’ dedication to others’well being and happiness is a trait that can be admired by everyone.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.