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Baseball legend Williams dies at 83

Ted Williams (1918-2002)

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McAdam: A special relationship

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Ted Williams dies at 83

Friday, July 5
Updated: July 8, 11:28 AM ET
What they're saying about Ted Williams news services

"There was no one more dedicated to this country and more proud to serve his country than Ted Williams.''
-- former astronaut and U.S. Senator John Glenn, who Williams flew with the Korean War.

"With the passing of Ted Williams, America has lost a baseball legend.''
-- President George W. Bush.

"Ted Williams was a great friend. He spent time talking to me about hitting, even though he played on another team. I'm very, very sorry to hear of his passing. I think that his son, John Henry, will have to be strong. Ted would want it that way. This is a great loss."
-- Hall of Famer Willie Mays.

"I think he was the best hitter that baseball has had.''
--Bobby Doerr, who played with Williams for 10 seasons.

"Ted was like John Wayne. He was a man's man. As a Hall of Famer, every time you went to the Hall of Fame, you wanted Ted to be there, as it put the stamp of approval on your being there.''
-- former Cincinnati Reds second baseman and ESPN baseball analyst Joe Morgan.

"My wife Joan and I went to visit them at the camp and Ted asked us to go and have lunch with him. Joan asked Ted about hitting and he got up in the middle of the restaurant, took his menu, wrapped it up and started showing Joan about hitting!''
-- former Yankees pitcher Whitey Ford.

"I am truly heartbroken. We have lost another ballplayer, another great person. Ted Williams was one of the most exciting players I ever saw. Unbelievable. And, when I was just a rookie in 1941, he took me under his wing. After he hit a double one day, he called timeout and told me, 'Kid, you've got a chance to play for the Yankees for a long time, so bear down.'"
-- Hall of Famer Phil Rizzuto.

"This is very disappointing news. I will miss him. I remember the first couple of years in the majors being intimidated by him and I've always been in awe of him. A good memory that I remember of him, is one time he told me if he faced me, he would look for my slider. He said, 'Because I sure know I can hit your fastball.'"
-- Former Red Sox and current New York Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens.

"I have his book on hitting and every offseason, I read that book. What stands out is his tone, the way he talked: 'Hey, I know how to hit and this is how to hit.' When you read that book, you feel Ted Williams is talking to you.''
-- Cincinnati Reds first baseman Sean Casey.

"Ted was the greatest hitter of our era.''
-- Hall of Famer Stan Musial, whose St. Louis Cardinals beat Williams' Red Sox in the 1946 World Series.

"I told him, 'Like you're trying to beat out a base hit.' He said, 'Faster than that.'''
-- Hall of Famer George Kell, recalling a story Williams told about landing a plane that was on fire and running away from it.

"He told me, 'You don't even have a clue what makes a ball break, do you?' I said, 'The spin?' 'No, you idiot.' He'd bring out the equations from his aviation terminology. He'd be screaming at you.''
-- Atlanta manager Bobby Cox, who met Williams in the dugout of RFK stadium in 1969 when Cox played for the Yankees.

"Nobody was more loyal, generous, courageous, more respected than Ted. He sacrificed his life and career for his country. But he became what he always wanted to be -- the greatest hitter ever.''
-- Former Yankees catcher Yogi Berra.

"I remember the first time I met him. In 1976, only a few months after I was drafted, I was standing in line at a movie theater and he was right behind me. I was almost speechless, but I introduced myself and told him that I was just drafted by the Red Sox. He looked at me and said, 'Can you hit?' I told him I hit .485 in my senior year of high school and he said, 'You'll do great.'''
-- Former Red Sox player Wade Boggs.