Ted Williams’ .406 batting average in 1941 squares off against Jim Rice saving the life of a 4-year-old fan at Fenway Park in the first round of Boston’s Greatest Sports Moment tournament.
3. Ted Williams hits .406 in 1941Few numbers in baseball remain as celebrated and revered as the .400 batting average. Numerous hitters have come close, such as Tony Gwynn batting .394 in strike-shortened 1994 and George Brett falling five hits short in the final two weeks of the season in 1980. Ted Williams is the only player in the last 75 years to eclipse the magic number, and he did it in legendary fashion. The greatest hitter who ever lived entered the final day of the 1941 season — a doubleheader against the Philadelphia Athletics — with a batting average of .39955, which rounded up qualified as a nice, even .400. But Williams believed he didn’t deserve the milestone if he sat out the final day. Instead, the Splendid Splinter went 6-for-8, finishing at .406.
14. Jim Rice saves 4-year-old’s lifeJim Rice’s Hall of Fame numbers will forever live on. So, too, will the image of him carrying a young, injured child to medics in the Red Sox dugout. On Aug. 7, 1982, the Keane family went to Fenway Park for a Red Sox game against the White Sox. Through a friend, they received seats just a few rows behind Boston’s dugout. The fun day took a scary turn when a Dave Stapleton foul ball connected with Jonathan Keane’s face. Rice, standing at the top of the dugout, heard the impact and the fans’ collective gasp. Rice, thinking of his own children, instinctively rushed up the steps, scooped up the 4-year-old and brought him through the Red Sox dugout, where he was evaluated by Red Sox doctor Arthur Pappas and taken to Boston’s Children Hospital. Jonathan suffered a fractured skull and underwent surgery. Pappas later said Rice’s quick actions saved the young boy’s life. Eight months later, a healthy Jonathan threw out the first pitch on opening day of the 1983 season and was reunited with Rice.
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