HBO replayed their Ted Williams documentary this morning.
It's worth your while, if you get the chance too see it. My wife and I had the unique pleasure of sharing a dinner table with Ted in November of 1998. He was far more impressed by Diane than with me, take my word for it.
In the documentary there's footage of him hitting a home run against the Orioles in his last at-bat, off of right-hander Jack Fisher. The play-by-play they used was from Mutual Radio's old Game-of-the-Day, with John McLean handling the call. (There exists another recording of the play-by-play by Curt Gowdy, but it's a re-creation.)
McLean, you older fans will recall, did the expansion Senators' games 1961-68 on WTOP, along with Dan Daniels. John's voice was known in the region previously due to his work on Mutual and for having done the minor league Orioles' games in Baltimore in the early 1950's.
I have a recording of a Senators-Red Sox game from 1968 with John and Dan. At one point a player takes a called third strike, and John says the hitter stood at the plate "transfixed and bemused," which I thought was pretty literate for the genre.
There's precious little video of Williams' managing the Senators. A little from spring training 1969, and a brief shot of Ted talking with pitcher Dick Bosman on the bench. Bozzie has a bat in his hands for reasons known only to him.
I was at the 1999 All-Star Game in Boston for WTEM, and witnessed Ted's last shining moment on a ballfield. That footage is golden.
Sometimes it's hard to grasp the years that have passed since Ted came to Washington. It was an amazing thing to get to the park early and see him leaning against the cage - wearing a jacket even though it was pretty hot outside - and curse Mike Epstein for not recognizing the diffeerence between a curve and a slider. Ted would occasionally grab a bat and take a few swings, and it was clear the swing was still picture-perfect.
The greatness of Williams - who I saw briefly as an active player with Boston - is one reason why I encourage fans to go out and see Albert Pujols, whose offensive numbers are so impressive it's like science fiction. Pujols will someday surpass Williams in base hits and maybe even home runs, but he'll never have Ted's charisma. Still, great is great, regardless of the era.