The 100 Greatest in 100 Days: #8 Ted Williams

Breaking into the list at #8 is “The Splendid Splinter” Ted Williams. Had Williams not missed three seasons serving in WWII and a litany of games throughout his career with injuries, he might have had a legitimate claim as the greatest player of all time. Williams reached 550 plate appearances just nine times over his career. For comparison, Lou Gehrig—whose career was tragically cut short at the age of 35—managed to reach 670 plate appearances 13 times. While Williams was on the diamond, however, he was arguably the most efficient player to ever play the game. He is the all-time leader in on-base percentage with an outlandish .482 mark. To put that into perspective, there have only been seven total seasons that have yielded a .482 on-base percentage since Williams retired in 1961 (Bonds x 4, Cash, Mantle, F. Thomas). His cartoonish 191 OPS+ and .633 slugging percentage trail only Babe Ruth on the all-time list, and he’s 4th all-time in walks and 8th in batting average. Williams won the AL MVP in 1946 and 1949 and was the runner-up four times. He had nine top-5 finishes and received MVP votes in 18 seasons which is tied for the second-most in history (Hank Aaron most, Stan Musial).  Williams led the league in on-base percentage a remarkable 12 times which is two more than any other player in history. He also led the league in OPS 10 times, OPS+  slugging percentage and intentional walks nine times, batting average, runs, and total bases six times, and home runs and RBIs 4 times. His six seasons of at least 140 walks are tied for the most in history (Bonds). He won the AL Triple Crown in 1942 and 1947 becoming the only player in history to win multiple. He’s the only player in history with 2,000 career walks and fewer than 800 strikeouts and he’s the only player in history with 150 RBIs, 150 runs, and 160 walks in a single season.