Fifty years ago, to the day, Ted Williams stepped to the plate at Fenway Park for the final time, launching a home run over the right-field fence. It was the perfect ending to a nearly perfect career.
Of course, in baseball, perfection is impossible, but Williams' swing might have been the sweetest in the history of the game. So much so, in fact, that his .406 average in the 1941 season has not been matched in the past 69 years.
There haven't even been many players who could even come close. Tony Gwynn hit .394 in 1994, George Brett hit .390 in 1989, Williams himself batted .388 in 1957 (at the age of 38), Rod Carew hit .388 in 1977 and Nomar Garciaparra, Todd Helton and Ichiro Suzuki have each batted .372 this decade.
What makes that fact even more amazing is that throughout the steroid era, as home runs soared out of ballparks at unheard-of rates, none of the bulked-up sluggers took a run at Williams' mark. Though Williams' .406 isn't the best in history, nobody had reached the .400 mark in 11 years when he did.
It's now stood for nearly 70 years. Will anyone hit .406 again?
If you think yes, text "SOX1" to 542542. If you think no, text "SOX2" to 542542.
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