As if Ted Williams’s numbers needed any help, recent research reveals that 110 of his 521 career home runs—more than 20%—were game-winners. The Kid Blasts a Winner, by Red Sox guru Bill Nowlin, tells the story of every one of them. Williams’s first game-winner came just 10 games into his career, a mammoth blast, likely the longest ball ever hit at Briggs Stadium. His last came more than 21 years later, the 520th of his career, a 2-run shot that carried the Red Sox to a 2-1 win against the Senators. For those two winners the 108 in between, Nowlin provides background on the teams and opposition pitchers, recounts the key plays and players, and describes each home run in glorious detail.
The Kid Blasts a Winner was a labor of love for baseball historian and Ted Williams authority Nowlin and the detail he provides is astounding. The narrative leans heavily on the use of newspaper accounts of the games—with headlines and excerpts adding color and depth to the narrative. Numerous quotes from Williams are also included, both from the newspaper stories and later reminiscences from The Splinter.
Also included are a section that breaks down the game-winning home runs by opponent, inning, walk-off, and other categories, features on The Kid’s .406 season and unforgettable All-Star Game homers, and an amazing notes section that runs more than 50 pages, packed with background stories about Williams and the Red Sox, stats and trivia, and hyperlinks to dozens of related articles. Taken on its own, the end notes read like a condensed version of Williams’s unmatched career, full of little-known facts and sidebars that also serve to recreate baseball’s classic era of the 1940s and 1950s.
The Kid Blasts a Winner IS a winner—a front-row seat to some of the greatest games played by one of baseball’s greatest players. If you thought the legend of Ted Williams could grow no larger, get ready to become even more awed.
Introduction by Bill Nowlin
1939: Rookie Explodes on the Scene
1940: What's a "Sophomore Slump?"
1941: .406 and Much, Much More
The 1941 All-Star Game
1942: The First Triple Crown
1946: Postwar,the Pennant, and the First MVP
1947: Another Triple Crown
1948: Red Sox Miss Pennant on One-Game Playoff Loss
1949: Another MVP and Another Heartbreaking Pennant Loss
1950: 97 RBI and 7 Game-Winning Homers in 89 Games
1951: Six Game-Winners Out of 30 Long Blasts
1952: An Unforgettable Farewell on "Ted Williams Day"
1953: 13 Homers (and 3 Game-Winners) in 94 At-Bats
1954: Passing DiMaggio With a Game-Winner
1955: Favorite Foe Detroit Victimized Five Times
1956: Nine Game-Winners in a Three-Month Span
1957: Amazing .388 Season Includes Eight Game-Winning Blasts
1958: Slow Start Ends With Sixth Batting Title
1959: Injuries and Age Result in Only Three Game-Winners
1960: A Fabulous Farewell
Notes on Game-Winning Home Runs
Sources and Endnotes
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