24a Were Baseball
Players Better Role
EDWARD A. SULLIVAN
Thucydides once said that “the bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet not withstanding go out to meet it.”1 Ted Williams and Jackie Robinson exhibited bravery unknown to today's ball players.
I remember seeing Ted Williams play the first time I went to see a Red Sox game. It was the summer of 1946, and my older brother and his friends took me to Fenway Park. We rode the bus to Lechmere Station and then took the trolley car to Kenmore Station. When we got to the ballpark, the Red Sox were taking batting practice and the Chicago White Sox players were playing catch in front of their dugout. When Williams stepped in for batting practice, a quiet came over the ballpark and the While SOX players stopped playing catch. I watched in awe as Williams hit two majestic towering fly balls, one landing in the bullpen, the other in the seats well beyond the bullpen. What a joy baseball was and the game hadn't even started!
Williams missed most of the 1952 and 1953 seasons, serving the country in the Korean War. During one of his missions, Williams literally displayed “courage under fire.” When his jet
1 Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War, vol. 2, Daniel Grene, ed., translated by Thomas
Hobbes (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1959), p. 111.