Ted Williams in Living Color

Sometimes the universe knows exactly what you need. In this case, it was a friend of mine, a former producer at¬†ESPN, sending me a link to a recently unearthed color video of Ted Williams’ final game with the Red Sox.

The footage was shot by Bill Murphy, then a 19-year-old college student who skipped class to see Teddy Ballgame’s last hurrah. I would’ve done the same. Murphy shot the footage on his 8-millimeter color film camera, each of Williams’ four plate appearances and his refusal to acknowledge the standing ovation he received when he hit a home run in his last-ever at-bat. No tip of the cap for the Fenway Faithful.

Williams played his entire career in Boston. In his last at-bat of that final game, he hit his 521st home run. The announcer shouted, “Well, if you had written it that way, nobody would believe it, so why even try?”¬†Seeing Williams round the bases in color in this intimate coverage, you can almost hear the roar of the crowd. But though we get a step closer to that moment in time with this color footage, this version is, unfortunately silent. Regardless, seeing Williams come to life in this way is, in a word, breathtaking.

You can view the footage here, or see it in the upcoming PBS documentary on Williams, airing Monday


Photo: New York Times

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