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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Williams: "I was right and I'd spit again"
By Larry Schwartz
Special to

Aug. 7, 1956

When the Boston fans get on Ted Williams, the Red Sox left-fielder is spitting mad. With two outs in the 11th inning, Williams misjudges Mickey Mantle's fly and drops it for a two-base error. The overflow crowd of 36,350 in Fenway Park erupts in boos.

Not even when Williams makes an outstanding catch on the Yankees' next batter, Yogi Berra, to preserve the scoreless tie and end the inning do the fans let up. As tempestuous Ted approaches the dugout -- with the boos far outweighing the cheers -- he spits at the crowd. Just to make sure there is no mistake, the splendid spitter comes out of the dugout and directs another salivary attack at the fans.

In the bottom of the inning, Williams walks with the bases loaded to give the Red Sox a 1-0 victory. As he heads to first base, he throws his bat some 40 feet in the air.

Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey hears Mel Allen's broadcast of the game on radio in New York and calls general manager Joe Cronin, who fines the $100,000-a-year slugger $5,000 for spitting. While Cronin says Williams told him he is sorry about his actions, Williams is unrepentant when he talks with the press.

"I'm not a bit sorry for what I did," Williams says. "I was right and I'd spit again at the same fans who booed me today. Some of them are the worst in the world. Nobody's going to stop me from spitting."

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