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