Ted Williams Hits Game-Winner in Hartford

On September 29, 1942, a day after beating the New York Yankees in the final game of the 1942 regular season, Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox drove to Hartford, Connecticut. “The Kid” was to make a guest star appearance for Bill Savitt’s semi-pro ball club, the Savitt Gems. The Gems took on the New Britain Cremos who had the battery of the Brooklyn Dodgers as guest stars of their own; pitcher, Hugh Casey and catcher, Mickey Owen.

Williams put on a display during batting practice for a crowd of about 2,500 people under the lights at Bulkeley Stadium. The game would prove to be a pitchers duel. Hartford’s own Monk Dubiel and Hugh Casey kept the bats at bay for 5 scoreless innings. The Gems scraped in a run in the 6th inning. In the bottom of the 7th inning, Williams cracked a home run over the centerfield wall off of Casey. The Savitt Gems won 2-1 over the Cremos.

A year before coming to Hartford, Williams famously completed the 1941 season with an amazing .406 batting average. Ted “The Kid” Williams was 23 years old and in his prime at the time of his game with the Gems. He had just finished his fourth season; perhaps his best season. He led the league in home runs, RBI’s and batting average earning him his first Triple Crown. During his visit in Hartford, Williams revealed publicly that he planned to enlist in World War II as Navy flying cadet. Williams served heroically and would be recalled into the Korean War in 1952 and 1953. 

Also nicknamed “The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived” Williams is now regarded as one of the greatest players in baseball history. He spent his entire 19-year Major League Baseball career as a left fielder for the Boston Red Sox. Williams was a nineteen-time All-Star, a two-time recipient of the American League (AL) Most Valuable Player Award, a six-time AL batting champion, and a two-time Triple Crown winner. Williams finished his career with a .344 batting average, 521 home runs, and a .482 on-base percentage, the highest of all time. His career batting average is the highest of any MLB player whose career was played primarily in the live-ball era.