I didn't know I'd get lucky and that I'd find a photo of Ted and a yellow Willys, that's neat
Williams was already a ball player in 1941 when the USA was pulled into WW2, and was drafted. He wasn't forward deployed to the Pacific until mid-1945, because his commanding officers wanted him to remain state-side to play baseball for their various teams. Also, keep in mind, he was the only income for his mom, when you consider the military facet of his life. I understood it that the only children of a family weren't supposed to go to combat. I may be completely uneducated on that rule.
Williams joined the Navy Reserve on May 22, 1942, went on active duty in 1943, and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps as a Naval Aviator on May 2, 1944.
Williams also played on the baseball team in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, along with his Red Sox teammate in pre-flight training, after eight weeks in Amherst, Massachusetts, and the Civilian Pilot Training Course.
While on the baseball team, Williams was sent back to Fenway Park on July 12, 1943, to play on an All-Star team managed by Babe Ruth. The newspapers reported that Babe Ruth said when finally meeting Williams, "Hiya, kid. You remind me a lot of myself. I love to hit. You're one of the most natural ballplayers I've ever seen. And if my record is broken, I hope you're the one to do it". Williams later said he was "flabbergasted" by the incident, as "after all, it was Babe Ruth". In the game, Williams hit a 425-foot home run to help give the American League All-Stars a 9–8 win
Williams served as a flight instructor at NAS Pensacola teaching young pilots to fly the complicated F4U Corsair fighter plane.
When the war ended, in 1945, Williams was in Pearl Harbor playing baseball in the Navy League with Joe DiMaggio and Stan Musial. The Service World Series with the Army versus the Navy attracted crowds of 40,000 for each game. The players said it was even better than the actual World Series
Come Korea, Williams and many others were being recalled because the military was surprisingly short on pilots with real combat experience when the Korean War began in 1950, and Williams had remained in the Marine Corps reserve, possibly for the officer pay. He wasn't keen on returning to combat, BUT the Red Sox agreed to pay him his full 1952 salary of $85,000, and he didn't have a leg to stand on why as a healthy American pilot, he could justify any argument to stay out of the war. He'd been promoted to Capt 14 months prior. His trophy wives were certainly a reason to remain stateside. They had been ringers for Dorothy Lamour, Jackie Kennedy, and Grace Kelly. One of his girlfriends (he was a world famous ball player, 6'4", and handsome, of course he had girlfriends) was an airline steward/ flight attendant, whatever the PC term is nowadays. One of his wives was a Vogue model, and former Ms Vermont
On May 1, 1952, 14 months after his promotion to captain in the Marine Corps Reserve, Williams was recalled to active duty for service in the Korean War. He had not flown any aircraft for eight years, and the Navy's policy of calling up Inactive Reservists rather than members of the Active Reserve made a lot of guys resentful
His wingman in Korea? Just John Glenn.
In 1999, he was ranked at number eight on The Sporting News list of ‘100 Greatest Baseball Players’.
He finished his playing career with a .344 batting average, 521 home runs, and a .482 on-base percentage, the highest of all time.
He was named after Pres Teddy Roosevelt
He had 20/10 eyesight
At the age of eight, he was taught how to throw a baseball by his uncle, who had a former semi-professional baseball player who had pitched against Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig
The legend has it, that while playing for the then Pacific Coast League Padres at Lane Field, a downtown San Diego ballpark, he hit a ball out of the park and into a train car, that was headed for LA. It's possible. Present day Petco Park is butted up against the train tracks on the south west side.
He appeared in Major League games in four decades
Williams's involvement in the Jimmy Fund helped raise millions in dollars for cancer care and research, Ted signed on for life, helping make it the best-loved charity in New England. His brother had died of Luekemia
During and after his long playing career, Williams routinely met one-on-one with young cancer patients being treated at Dana-Farber’s Jimmy Fund Clinic and its pediatric care partner, Boston Children’s Hospital – both a short walk from the Red Sox’ Fenway Park home.
His only caveat about such visits was that they be done with no media fanfare; if cameras or reporters showed up, he said, the visits would stop. They never did, and neither did he.
Williams’ efforts over the years contributed to remarkable progress in the treatment of childhood cancers. When he started working with Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund in the late 1940s, almost every child with cancer died. Today, three out of four children with cancer survive.