Arguably the greatest pure hitter of all time, Theodore Samuel “Ted” Williams played 21 seasons in left field for Boston, and is widely regarded as the greatest Red Sox baseball player ever to put on a uniform.

Williams, who was later nicknamed “Teddy Ballgame” or “The Splendid Splinter,” grew up in San Diego, California, and debuted for the Red Sox in 1939 at the age of 20. There is only one trading card from Williams’ rookie season. That Play Ball card, which shows Williams centered in the frame with his eyes focused on the camera while finishing his prototypical swing, is extremely collectible.

A 16-time All Star and two-time American League Most Valuable Player (MVP), Williams quickly established himself as one of baseball’s most feared hitters. In just his third season, Williams had one of the best years in baseball history, hitting .406 with a league-leading 37 homeruns. In fact, Williams’ 1941 season marks the last time a Major League Baseball player batted over .400, which is one reason why his 1941 Play Ball card is one of the most sought-after pieces of baseball memorabilia.

Unfortunately for Williams, his career statistics were not as impressive as they might have been because he missed all or part of five seasons serving as a pilot in the Marine Corps during both World War II and the Korean War. Had he played those five seasons, Williams may have challenged Babe Ruth’s record of 714 homeruns. Instead, he had to settle for 521, but Williams retired with the highest on-base percentage of all time (.483) and the highest batting average (.344) of a player to hit 500 or more homers.

After Williams’ service in World War II, Leaf Gum was the first candy company to release a Williams baseball card—it was part of Leaf’s 1948-1949 set. The brightly colored card shows a stoic Williams in a gray-and-blue flannel uniform set against a red background. It is tough to find this card in high-grade because this particular Leaf set was full of poorly centered cards and had bad print quality. As it turned out, this was the last Williams card Leaf would make—by 1950 the company had been bullied out of the market by Topps and Bowman.

Williams was not included in Bowman’s first two sets of baseball cards in 1948 and 1949, but he was pictured in the 1950 Bowman set when the company upgraded its cards to full color. As was the case with many Williams cards, the Bowman depicted Williams finishing his near-perfect swing, his Hillerich & Bradsby Louisville Slugger bat strewn over his right shoulder.

Williams continued to star for Boston until his retirement in 1960—he went out in style, becoming one of the only players to hit a homerun in his last Major League at-bat. The hi...

Throughout his career Williams was continually compared to New York Yankees’ outfielder Joe DiMaggio as the two starred for rival teams. While they were playing, fans joked that they should be traded for each other because Williams, who hit left-handed, would thrive with the short right field fence at Yankee Stadium, and DiMaggio, who hit right-handed, would excel with Fenway Park’s short porch in left field. In fact, a trade almost happened.

Because of this rivalry, autographed pictures of Williams and DiMaggio together, as well as other memorabilia such as autographed bats of the two players, are very popular items. Short of that iconic object, some collectors have sought autographed copies of the July 8, 1950 edition of “TV Guide,” which featured the pair on the cover.

While Williams’ individual statistics may trump those of DiMaggio, the one thing missing from Williams’ career was a World Series championship, a feat DiMaggio accomplished nine times. Unfortunately Williams passed away in 2002, just two years before his Red Sox won their first World Series title in 86 years.

Williams’ collectibles continue to be some of the most popular baseball artifacts around, and the most popular among retired Red Sox. In addition to trading cards, other prized items are Williams statues, autographed baseballs and bats, and game-used bats, which are noticeably lighter in weight than many other bats—Williams felt that a light bat was key to his quick, compact swing.

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1941 Play Ball Mid-grade Complete Set Ted Williams Joe Dimaggio Foxx, Sgc (pwcc)1941 Play Ball Low-grade Near Complete Set Ted Williams Greenberg Foxx (pwcc)∎ 1951 Bowman Baseball Card Ted Williams #165 **nice Card**1956 Topps Set Break # 5 - Ted Williams Psa 8 Nm-mt G270161950 Bowman Ted Williams. Psa 8. #98. Near Mt-mint. Tough. Beautiful !1957 Topps Set Break # 1 Ted Williams Psa 7 Nm G29493Ted Williams Coa Signed Baseball 1958 Topps Baseball Card Lot Mickey Mantle Ted Williams, Hank Aaron , Vg/exmt 1958 Topps Set Break # 1 Ted Williams Psa 7 Nm G295051954 Topps Baseball (83 Cards) Ted Williams, J. Robinson, Duke Snider++1955 Topps Ted Williams #2 ... Graded Sgc 80 Ex-mt ... Well Centered1941 Play Ball #14 Ted Williams Psa 1.5 Fr1941 Play Ball #14 Ted Williams Sgc "authentic" No Reserve!!Ted Williams Baseball Hartland Statue W/ Original Bat #h40601958 Topps Ted Williams. Sgc 88. Number #1 Card In Set. Tough. Beautiful !1950 Bowman Low-mid Grade Near Complete Set Ted Williams Berra Campanella SniderTed Williams Oalb Autograph Psa/dna Grade 9....encapsulated∎ 1958 Topps Baseball Card Ted Williams #1 **near-mint**Ted Williams Autographed Baseball Rawlings Bobby Brown American League 4809* 1954 Topps Ted Williams #250 Baseball Card *1955 Topps Doubleheader #69 Ted Williams #70 Hal Smith Psa 6 Ex-mt Red SoxTed Williams Single Signed Baseball Auto Jsa Loa Red Sox Hof Deceased 20021958 Topps Baseball Card Lot Ted Williams, Hank Aaron , Bobby Layne Exmint+ Etc 1954 Topps Baseball Single #1 Ted Williams Boston Red Sox - Poor Shape But Cool1954 Topps Ted Williams #250 Ex MiscutTed Williams Hand Signed American League Baseball Psa/dna 8 Full Loa Gorgeous!Ted Williams Autographed Al Baseball Psa-dna Authenticated Mlb Hof LoaAl Hof Multi Signed Autographed Baseball Ted Williams, Yastrzemski, Doerr 6 More1958 Topps Set Break #485 Ted Williams As Psa 7 Nm G295211994 Ted Williams #124 Derek Jeter Psa/dna Authenticated Signed 19941941 Playball Set Break Vg Ex #14 Ted Williams Hof 196851954 Topps Ted Williams #1 Baseball Card, Psa 6 Ex-mtTed Williams 2004 Fleer Legacy Auto Autograph Baseball Coa HologramTed Williams Autographed Signed Baseball Ball Boston Red Sox W/ Case1943 R302-1 Mp & Co Ted Williams Psa 7 Nrmt (pwcc)1943 R302-1 Mp & Co Ted Williams Psa 5 Ex (pwcc)Ted Williams Autographed Hand Signed 8x10 Photo Gai Certified Boston Red Sox Ted Williams Ro-a Baseball Ltd Ed. # 997/1941 ".406" W/upper Deck Coa & HologramTed Williams Autographed Baseball With CoaMickey Mantle Ted Williams Dual Signed Autographed Baseball Jsa Loa2004 National Pastime 1959 Fleer Reprint Game Used Bat Ted Williams 3/91958 Topps #1 Ted Williams, Psa 6, Ex-mt ~ Red Sox2014 Panini National Treasures Ted Williams Jumbo Bat Relic 1/1-boston Red Sox 2014 Panini National Treasures #28 Ted Williams 96/99 Game Used Jersey Patch Hof500 Home Run Club Poster; Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron, Ted Williams, Willie MaysMlb Ted Williams Hand-signed Autograph 8x10 Photo *as Is*1939/1946 Salutation Exhibit Baseball Card Ted Williams Sp #9 Showing 1954 Topps #1 Ted Williams Boston Red Sox Hof Psa 3.5 Vg+1958 Topps #1 Ted Williams Boston Red Sox Hof Sgc 70 Ex+ 5.5 1958 Topps #485 Ted Williams As, Psa 6, Ex-mt ~ Red Sox2014 Panini National Treasures #28 Ted Williams 43/99 Game Used Jersey Patch HofHofer Ted Williams Game-worn Jersey 2012 Playoff Prime Cuts 2/9 !!!!1957 Topps Ted Williams #1 Baseball Card1957 Topps #1 Ted Williams (hof) Psa 4 Vg-ex ~ Set Break1956 Topps Ted Williams Wb #5 Baseball Card Psa Grade 3 Vg-cond "amazing"1958 Topps All Star #485 Ted Williams Boston Red Sox Trimmed1959 Fleer #1 Ted Williams Hof The Early Years Gai 9 Mint No Reserve $0.99 Start1955 Topps Ted Williams #2 Psa 6 Exmt (pwcc)1958 Topps Set Break Vg Ex #1 Ted Williams Hof 161251959 Fleer Ted Williams #71 Hitting Fundamentals Nm A025550

Recent News: Ted Williams Memorabilia

Source: Google News

A DC team is thinking championship; what could go wrong?
Washington Post (blog), March 3rd

Ted Williams came to Washington last night,” The Post reported in 1969. “The Senators' new owner, Robert Short, introduced the former Boston slugger as the manager of 'the pennant winner this year.' Williams laughed off the remark nicely and observed...Read more

NBC SportsWorld: The Wonder of Minnie Minoso
Comcast SportsNet Chicago, March 3rd

Yes, he could run (he led the league in triples and stolen bases three times), hit (he finished top five in batting five times – Ted Williams thought he was the best pure hitter in the league, save himself), get on base (his .389 career on-base...Read more

There Goes Ted Williams — The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived
Investor's Business Daily, March 2nd

Deep inside that blink, Boston Red Sox star Ted Williams created such power, such a claim on the ball, that the defense had to stack the odds even higher. On July 14, 1946, the Red Sox were in the second game of a double-header against Cleveland...Read more

Mid Afternoon Bike Crash Injures Rider on Ted Williams Parkway, February 27th

The crash was reported about 11:30 p.m. in the 11900 block of Ted Williams Parkway, according to San Diego police Officer Frank Cali. The 45-year-old man was heading east about 30 mph when for some reason the bike went out of control and he crashed, ...Read more

A Ted Williams Approach To Value Investing
The Guru Investor, February 27th

In his latest piece for, Validea CEO John Reese looks at how investors can learn from legendary Red Sox star Ted Williams. Reese talks about Williams' highly disciplined hitting approach, and his willingness to wait for a good pitch to hit...Read more

Monster Beverage And 4 Other Ted Williams Value Stocks
Forbes, February 23rd

But Ted Williams didn't earn his reputation as baseball's greatest hitter on talent alone. Perhaps more than any player in history, Williams was a student of hitting–so much so that after retiring he wrote a book entitled The Science of Hitting, in...Read more

Going Fishing With The Kid: Ted Williams in the Florida Keys, February 12th

21, 1967 issue. It ran again in 1994 as one of the best stories of SI's first 40 years. No longer a splinter, Ted Williams is just as splendid -- and brash -- as ever when he turns his skill against another worthy opponent, the leaping tarpon of the...Read more

Atlantic Sturgeon: An Ancient Fish Struggles Against the Flow
Yale Environment 360, February 12th

Once abundant in the rivers of eastern North America, the Atlantic sturgeon has suffered a catastrophic crash in its populations. But new protections under the U.S. Endangered Species Act are giving reason for hope for one of the world's oldest fish...Read more