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DALY: A movie of Ted Williams’ life would only be natural
In some ways, a Ted Williams movie already has been made. Robert Redford’s 1984 film, “The Natural,” paid more than token homage to Williams. Redford’s character, Roy Hobbs, wore the No. 9 - Ted’s number. He also hit third like Ted and batted left-handed like Ted. It was no coincidence.
“Redford was a big Ted Williams fan,” Underwood says. “He had all kinds of [Williams-related] things in the movie. In the end, he knocks out the [stadium] lights with a home run. Well, Ted knocked the [loudspeaker at Shibe Park] out when he got his last hit for .406. [The ball bounced back on the field, and Williams settled for a double.] Hobbs wanted to be the greatest player there ever was. Well, what Ted said in the autobiography I did on him was: ‘When I walk down the street, I want people to say, “There goes Ted Williams, the greatest hitter who ever lived.’”
Redford even wanted Williams to be an on-set consultant for the movie, according to Underwood, and Ted was receptive to the idea. But when shooting was about to begin, “Ted called him back from the Miramichi River [in Canada] and said, ‘The fishing’s too good. I can’t do that now.’ That’s the way Ted thought. He’d rather be fishing than helping Robert Redford make a movie.”
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About the Author
Dan Daly has been writing about sports for the Washington Times since 1982. He has won numerous national and local awards, appears regularly in NFL Films’ historical features and is the co-author of “The Pro Football Chronicle,” a decade-by-decade history of the game. Follow Dan on Twitter at @dandalyonsports –- or e-mail him at email@example.com.
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