This August, Semper Fit and the All-Marine Sports Program recognize Ted Williams, Marine aviator and professional baseball legend.

Perhaps the most well-known Marine to play in Major League Baseball (MLB), Ted Williams is a legend in the sport. Born in San Diego, CA, on August 30, 1918, Williams burst onto the scene in MLB in 1939. Known as “The Splendid Splinter,” Williams’ Hall of Fame career spanned from 1939 to 1960, but was broken up by his service in the Marine Corps from 1942-1945 and again from 1952-1953.

Spending his entire professional career with the Boston Red Sox, Williams’ many baseball accolades include 19 selections to the All-Star Team, two Most Valuable Player awards, and two Triple Crown Awards. He achieved a career batting average of .344, earning him the title “The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived.” He is a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, inducted in 1966. He was inducted into the Marine Corps Sports Hall of Fame in 2001.

In addition to his many MLB awards, Williams was a decorated Marine aviator in both World War II and the Korean War. His Red Sox teammate and fellow naval aviator, Johnny Pesky, said…

“Ted could make a plane and its six 'pianos' (machine guns) play like a symphony orchestra… From what they said, his reflexes, coordination, and visual reaction made him a built-in part of the machine."

He earned the rank of captain and received the Air Medal with two Gold Stars.

Ted Williams passed away on July 5, 2002.

Visit the All-Marine Sports Program for information on sports on your local installation.