The Kid: The Immortal Life of Ted Williams
Hall of Famer Ted Williams is considered the best hitter in the history of major league baseball. While other books have chronicled Williams's ascent and his 22 colorful years with the Boston Red Sox, Ben Bradlee, Jr.--a reporter and editor for the Boston Globe--goes a step beyond that familiar story in The Kid. Via extensive research, access to private papers and interviews with more than 600 of Williams's former teammates, associates, friends and family, Bradlee delves into Williams's troubled, impoverished childhood in San Diego, the fraught relationships he endured with his parents and his years as a "top gun" Marine pilot in World War II and Korea, as well as the life he lived away from the baseball diamond and his retirement.
Bradlee's respect and admiration for the "self-made and intellectually curious" Williams is evident on every page. This hefty, meticulously researched biography--replete with photographs--unveils new aspects of Williams's eccentric persona: his hiding his Mexican-American roots; his impulsiveness and intense temper, which often made his life dysfunctional on the field and off; his overlooked charitable work and innate kindness; his passion for fishing. Also included are in-depth details of Williams's relationships with his girlfriends, wives and children. Bradlee bookends Williams's story with a chilling, fascinating examination of the slugger's death and the dispute among his heirs to have Williams's corpse cryonically preserved. --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines