Actor Robert Redford grew up 3,000 miles from Boston, but watching Ted Williams turned him into a Red Sox fan — and even helped inspire arguably his most recognizable movie role.
Speaking with The Boston Globe last week, Redford said his character in “The Natural,” Roy Hobbs, wore No. 9 and hit a home run in his final at-bat because of Teddy Ballgame, who did both during his Hall of Fame career.
?Because of Ted Williams,? the 79-year-old said of how he became a Red Sox fan. ?Ted was my hero when I was a kid. He was from California, and I was from California. He was left-handed, and I was left-handed. And I wanted to be a professional ballplayer.?
Though Redford never made the big leagues himself, “The Natural” is regarded as one of the most iconic sports movies of all time. And even a half-century after Williams’ retirement, Redford remains an avid Red Sox supporter.
?I realized there was more to (the Sox) than just Ted Williams,” Redford told The Globe. “I had the joy of my life a few years ago when I sat behind the catcher at Fenway and they beat the Yankees.?
Click to see other celebrities who root for the Red Sox >>
Thumbnail photo via Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports Images