Ted Williams, Even on a Gameshow, Flashes Consistency

NEW YORK — Ted Williams, often viewed as the model for hitting consistency in baseball, flirted with perfection on Sunday when he nearly went 11 for 11 in saying the word “yes” the exact same way while appearing on the game show What’s My Line?. Williams, not long after helping defeat the Yankees in a 10-9 win in Yankee Stadium, appeared on the popular show to answer questions submitted by middling celebrities. When Williams had to give a “yes” answer, he did it the very same way each time, almost as if he was playing back the same recording with each response. However, obviously being modest and slightly embarrassed when asked about his military service, gave his final answer in the form of “yeah,” breaking his streak and ending what would have been a date with perfection.

“Of course I thought he could do it,” said Red Sox manager Lou Boudreau, who was in attendance mostly for the free drinks. “He’s Ted [expletive deleted] Williams. I remember a game against the Browns a few years ago when he spit sunflower seed shells into Les Moss’s helmet 48 times in a row while waiting to bat. If he competes, he wins.”

When asked about the final answer gone awry, Williams replied “[Expletive deleted], I didn’t know I was in the middle of a record, I would’ve gone for it. Jesus Christ. This could have been my shot to put that whole DiMaggio [expletive deleted] behind me. I hit .406 that year he got that stupid streak, you know. And I took twice as many walks. Now I’ve blown it again.”

Mr. Williams refused to ask any more questions from this reporter, who was the only sports reporter at a taping of the game show.

The Red Sox have an off-day tomorrow, then travel to Philadelphia to play the Athletics in a game they’ll probably win by, something like, 3 – 2.

David G. Temple is the Managing Editor of TechGraphs and a contributor to FanGraphs, NotGraphs and The Hardball Times. He hosts the award-eligible podcast Stealing Home. Dayn Perry once called him a "Bible Made of Lasers." Follow him on Twitter @davidgtemple.

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9 years ago

Good stuff. Thanks!