Feb 21, 1969: Ted Williams: Manager
Submitted by BTGrimes on Thu, 02/21/2013 - 7:00am
Best leads the worst
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Ted Williams was lured back to baseball on this date in 1969 to manage the Washington Senators - the greatest hitter of all time leading a struggling expansion franchise that had yet to finish a season with a winning record. It lost at least 100 games in four of its first eight seasons. Remember this was the new Washington Senators, a 1961 expansion team after the original Senators moved to Minnesota and became the Twins.
They say those who can't teach. How about those who can? Williams knew it would be a difficult task, telling the Associated Press (AP), "This may be a long, hard grind for a while." And what about when he has to deal with a young player wound as tight as he was in his younger days? Would he tolerate a player with a temper, "If he can hit like Ted Williams, yes," said Ted Williams.
Williams' presence brought immediate results. The franchise had its first winning season in 1969, Williams' first year as manager. They finished the season 86-76, but it was back downhill after that. They lost 92 games in 1970, lost 96 in 1971. Attendance got so bad the team moved to Arlington, Texas in 1972 and became the Rangers. That first year in Texas the Rangers finished with a record of 54-100, the worst year of their history (the 1972 season was shortened by a strike). Williams retired after that season and went back to fishing and hunting.
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