Ted Williams and Casey Stengel are inducted into the Hall of Fame
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“We all know what his record was, so I don’t have to repeat that,” said Ralph Houk, who succeeded Stengel as manager of the Yankees. “But how long was he in baseball? Think of that and all he ever did was enhance it.”
To get to those championships, Stengel’s teams often had to get through Williams and the Red Sox. Williams, however, never made it easy for the Yankees.
Williams’ .406 batting average in 1941 represents the last time a Major League player eclipsed the .400 mark. Despite missing nearly five full seasons from military service and injuries, Williams still racked up two Triple Crowns, two MVPs, six American League batting championships, 521 home runs, and a lifetime average of .344.
Even one of Stengel’s biggest cogs in those championship runs recognized Williams’ prowess at the dish.
"He (Ted Williams) was the best pure hitter I ever saw,” said Hall of Fame outfielder Joe DiMaggio. “He was feared."
Stengel did not have to wait long after his managing days to be enshrined into the Hall of Fame. The Veterans Committee voted him in just seven months after he managed his final game.
Williams was also voted into the Hall of Fame in atypical fashion. Despite his sometimes-stormy relationship with the media, Williams received 282 votes by the writers, which was the most in Hall of Fame history at that time.
“This is a wonderful day for me,” Williams said when he received the news. “I can’t think of anything a ballplayer would want more.”
Connor O’Gara was the 2012 public relations intern in the Hall of Fame’s Frank and Peggy Steele Internship Program for Youth Leadership Development