Dickson: Celebrating Ted Williams’ historic call for inclusion 50 years ago

From Paul Dickson at The National Pastime Museum on July 22, 2016:

In late 1965, in advance of his first year of eligibility, Ted Williams was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame with 282 out of a possible 302 votes. He needed 227 for election. He received 93.4 percent of the votes cast by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, making him just the eighth player elected on his first appearance on the ballot.

Following his election, Williams was inducted into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown on July 25, 1966, 50 years ago this week. His speech was planned to be short and to the point. He vowed not to go long as it would take time away from the next inductee, Casey Stengel, whom the crowd anticipated for his singular brand of folk speech, known far and wide as Stengelese.

Williams took the podium. He was tanned and in great physical shape—one writer said he looked like Rock Hudson and, when he began to speak, sounded like John Wayne. He lead off by thanking the writers who had voted him into the Hall, significant in that Williams had feuded with the press throughout his career, with special antipathy for the local Boston scribes who covered the Red Sox.

Read the full article here: http://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/celebrating-ted-williams-s-historic-call-inclusion-50-years-ago-week

Originally published: July 24, 2016. Last Updated: July 24, 2016.