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Ted Williams: The Biography of an American Hero Hardcover – Apr 13 2004


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; 1 edition (April 13 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385507488
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385507486
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 16.3 x 4.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 907 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #622,472 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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By Lava1964 TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 8 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Leigh Montville's biography of Ted Williams is compelling reading. Williams was a complex, driven individual who sought perfection within himself often at the expense of alienating others. He was a "man's man"--a military hero and a baseball hero who led a life where conflicts were plenty but admiration was just as commonplace. Montville's superbly reaserched biography captures the essence of Wlliams, all his positives and all his warts. This is required reading for serious baseball fans.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Charles Ashbacher on July 9 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book describes greatness, a quest for perfection, deep and long-term friendships between men; heroism and personal sacrifice for country; some of the inside details of baseball, a deep love for the game, betrayal and exploitation; and ultimately one of the most bizarre aftermath's to the life of a legend. There is no doubt that Ted Williams was one of the best hitters who ever lived. In fact, it can be argued, something that I often do, that he was the best hitter to ever play the game. On that note, while he was blessed with incredible skills, like so many successful athletes, he practiced as if he was a religious fanatic and that was his daily devotions. He was also a very intelligent man, some of the facets of hitting that Williams discussed had never been considered before. He studied pitchers with a precision that probably has never been duplicated.
Under the social classifications now used, Ted was a Hispanic, his father was Mexican and his mother Caucasian. Growing up in San Diego, he was worshipping baseball and making it his field of study at a very early age. Unfortunately, his skill at hitting a baseball did not translate into maturity. He became a star at an early age, and he never managed to mellow a ferocious temper, which many of his friends said was the key to his success. Like so many people who accomplished so much, he was a perfectionist. He would hit a homerun and then criticize himself for swinging at a pitch that was not in the strike zone. Montville criticizes Williams for this, but it is not totally justified. A mistake that turns out right is still a mistake, and if you are satisfied with that, then over the long haul, the mistakes will sum to a point that will overwhelm you.
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By A Customer on July 19 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book is a must read for Williams fans, Red Sox fans and baseball fans in general. I felt this book was one of the most balanced books I have read aboout Williams. Not only does it pay tribute to his success on the field and in the air during WW II and Korea, but also decribes his many faults. I have always been a fan of Montville and this book, simply put, is a great one.
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Format: Hardcover
Ted Williams is one of the greatest baseball players of all time. His .406 batting average stands as of the game's greatest accomplishments and is still the benchmark average that modern players aim towards. Leigh Montvale's Ted Williams: The Biography Of An American Hero is the most extensive book about the Splendid Splinter. Despite the fanfare, the book is a disappointment. Mr. Montvale spends far too much time on Mr. Williams' life after baseball than his time within the game. To any reader of any sports biography, the most important aspect of the book should be the subject's athletic career. No one wants to read just an expanded stat sheet, but Mr. Montvale concentrates too much of the book on Mr. Williams' life outside of baseball. The 1941 season has some detail, but the 1946 is almost written as an afterthought. That season ended in Mr. Williams' only trip to the World Series in his long career. His two Triple Crown seasons of 1942 & 1947 are mentioned in passing. Mr. Montvale does do an excellent job of explained the bitter rivalry between Mr. Williams and the Boston sportswriters. But again, he spends too much time into the background of the writers (one doesn't really care about the life history of Mr. Williams' fiercest critic, Dave Egan, but we get that). Mr. Montvale does go into great detail about Mr. Williams' three marriages and his fishing life on the Florida Keys and Canada. This is interesting, to a point, but these aspects of his life should have been given the secondary nature that his career received. Mr. Montvale also conveys Mr. Williams as an impetuous, foul-mouthed crank and relays countless stories from acquaintances and loved ones who hammer this point home. Included is a word for word interview with Mr.Read more ›
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By aglaess on June 26 2004
Format: Hardcover
The problem with most sports books is that they come off as one long box score, with just the most basic personal information, usually written at the Jr. High School level.
Leigh Montville has a home run(pardon the pun)with this book. A real, complete, mature biography. Williams from birth to death bed, in a fair and balanced fashion--what a biography is supposed to be. It is too easy to either idolize the subject of a biography, or to tear them down by airing all their diry laundry. To his credit, Montville does neither. Ted Williams comes off as an amazing athlete, pilot and fisherman. A perfectionist man's man, who often jumped to the aid of the sick and down and out. A lousy father and poor husband. A cranky individualist who didn't always like people around, but who nevertheless would be there for you in a second if times were bad.
In short, a human being, a man. Telling that life story is what a biography is all about.
With the people who knew Ted in his prime growing old, this will probably turn out to be the definitive Ted Williams book. Thanks to Leigh Montville for getting it right.
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