Fenway Park

March 3, 1978

Ted Williams arrived in Winter Haven, Fla., for another spring training as the Red Sox’ official preseason hitting guru. After tugging on his polyester uniform, featuring No. 9 on his back and an ample belly up front, Williams reminded one and all that great hitters need to be selective, and how he knew that a few decades before it became a standard batting philosophy.

“The big thing they talk about these days is discipline and hitters being more selective,” Williams said, as reported in the Boston Globe. “Yet I was criticized in Boston as a player for one thing more than anything else.

“I was a hitter who was patient and selective because I realize the importance of getting a good ball top hit. That’s the key.”

Williams also dismissed at the notion that there would never be another .400 hitter.

“Rod Carew almost made it last year. And God knows he had better physical attributes 10 years ago than he has now. But he’s a better hitter now because he’s a smarter hitter.”

Carew hit .388 in 1977 and .333 in 1978.

Teddy Ballgame remains the last of the .400 hitters.

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