On this day in 1941 “Teddy Ballgame” Williams became the last player to hit .400 in a season.

He did this during a double-header against the Philadelphia Athletics on the last day of the regular season. When he reached .400 he could have sat out so as not to have risked his accomplishment, but he continued to play and wound up with .406. He went 6-8 on the day.

Williams was a Marine and served in both WII and Korea, missing 5 seasons. He still had a career 521 homeruns and 2654 hits with a lifetime average of .344 (still the 7th highest).

ted williams

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Thomas S says:

    Slight correction, Father. After the first game he finished with a .3999 BA which would have been rounded to .400, but he insisted on playing the second game anyway.

  2. David Zampino says:

    If it were not for those 5 seasons, he would have easily reached 3,000 hits — and might well have given the Babe a run the home run title.

  3. Spade says:

    My grandfather was a Marine ANGLICO in Korea and was at an airbase in NC prior to getting out. He was friends with two pilots who were prior enlisted. They were friends with Ted Williams.

    So one day they asked my grandfather, a huge baseball fan, if he wanted to meet Ted Williams as they were going out to dinner with him. My grandfather jumped at this. However, on the way to dinner, they ordered my grandfather to not talk about baseball, as Williams was there with his fighter pilot hat on.

    So instead of having dinner with Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox, he got to have dinner with Ted Williams, USMCR and two other pilots who talked about flying the entire time. My grandfather had no idea what they were talking about.

  4. ncstevem says:

    Thomas S – Fr. Zuhlsdorf is correct. Ted Williams batting average going into the double-header on the last day of the season was.3996 (179 hits, 448 at-bats) which would be rounded to .400 . Joe Cronin, his manager, offered to sit him out for the double-header and Ted refused. He had 6 hits in 8 at bats in the double header resulting in the .406 average.

  5. Ferde Rombola says:

    I agree with ncsteven, Fr. Z is right. I saw Ted’s last game in Fenway Park. Brooks Robinson and I are probably the only two people in the world who saw both Williams’ and Cal Ripken’s last game. For doubters, I shot an 8mm film of Ted’s last game and his last home run. I have a frame of the ball on the bat, sending his last home run into the Red Sox bullpen.

  6. Thomas S says:

    ncstevem, thanks for the correction. I’d forgotten it was before the doubleheader and not between games. I’m too young to be losing my memory like this!

  7. Manducat in the hat says:

    You could say that record is frozen* in time.

    Get it? GET IT?

    *- Ted Williams’ head and body are cryogenically frozen so they can be reanimated in the event such technology ever develops.

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