Rogan: Sports’ Forgotten Heroes: Ken Williams

From SABR member Warren Rogan at Sports’ Forgotten Heroes on July 29, 2019, with SABR member Dave Heller:

Ken Williams was one of baseball’s most feared sluggers of the 1920s. A star for the St. Louis Browns, Williams was a career .319 hitter who hit 196 home runs for his career while toiling in relative obscurity for a team that usually finished near the bottom of the standings. Williams, who never revealed his real age, was reportedly five-years older than what he claimed; and his career was shortened by the fact that he didn’t make for good until he was 30-years old. But, once he did make it, he made a big statement. In fact, after slugging 24 home runs and knocking in 117 to go along with a .347 average in 1921 – his first full season with the Browns, Williams backed that up with his best season. In 1922, Williams stopped Babe Ruth’s run on leading the American League in home runs, which he had done for four consecutive years. Williams led the A.L. with 39 round-trippers, lead the league with 155 RBI and hit .332. While Williams never topped Ruth again in the home run race, he still terrorized pitchers, and he was one of the streakiest hitters the game has ever known. Dave Heller, who wrote the book, Ken Williams, A Slugger in Ruth’s Shadow, joins the podcast for a wonderful conversation about one of the game’s most overlooked and forgotten stars.

Listen to the full podcast here (scroll down to episode #61):

Originally published: July 31, 2019. Last Updated: July 31, 2019.