1958 Topps

Ted Williams (All Star)

1958 Topps 485 Ted Williams All Star

Theodore Samuel Williams (1918-2002) was one of the few people in the world who actually lived out his dream of being remembered as, “There goes Ted Williams, the greatest hitter who ever lived.” Williams began playing in the sandlots of San Diego and moved on to high school as a pitcher, often striking out a dozen of more batters per appearance. His pitching prowess notwithstanding, Ted signed with the San Diego Padres of the Pacific Coast League and then the Minneapolis Millers of the American Association where he captured his first Triple Crown, hitting .366 with 43 home runs and 142 RBI. The Kid, as he was dubbed in Boston newspapers, was the most anticipated athletes and he did not disappoint as he led the American League in RBI with 145, blasted 31 home runs and batted .327 in his first year in Beantown. As a rookie, he finished fourth in AL MVP voting. In 1940, Williams earned his first of 19 All-Star Game appearances, but also led the league in on-base percentage for the first of 12 times during his 19-year career. He continues to hold the highest on-base percentage in the history of Major League Baseball with a .482 OBP. His preparedness was unmatched as he studied opposing pitchers and their nuances in certain situations, ultimately determining what their “out pitch” was in every case.

In 1941, Ted became the first Major League batter since Rogers Hornsby in 1924 to eclipse the elusive .400-mark batting .406 in 143 games and the last to accomplish the feat, though many have made runs. Prior to 1941, George Sisler (.420) was the last American Leaguer to hit better than .400 in 1922. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, players were lining up to enlist, but Williams chose to play out his 1942 season for personal financial reasons, to which he was chastised by the media with whom he had a strained relationship with from the early days in his career. His decision was both Boston’s and his personal gain as he won the Triple Crwon, leading the American League in average (.356), home runs (36) and RBI (137). Despite this extraordinary achievement, Ted finished second in AL MVP voting behind Joe DiMaggio, who put together a 56-game hit streak, the longest in Major League history. When the season concluded, Williams joined the United States Navy as a naval aviator and served as a training instructor and never seeing any combat. After losing three prime years to World War II, Ted returned to the Red Sox in 1946 having not lost a step as he batted .342 with 38 home runs and 123 RBI to win his first AL MVP award while also leading Boston to their first World Series appearance since 1918. The St. Louis Cardinals beat the Red Sox in seven games in Williams’ only World Series appearance. In 1947, he stood atop the baseball world winning his second AL Triple Crown as he hit .343 with 32 home runs and 114 RBI while also leading the AL in runs (125), walks (162), on-base- percentage (.499), slugging percentage (.634) and total bases (335). 

Despite losing five years to World War II and the Korean War, The Splendid Splinter won two Most Valuable Player awards (1946, 1949), was a six-time American League batting champion, hit 521 home runs, led the AL in OBP 12 times, walks eight times, runs scored and total bases six times, RBI and home runs four times and retired with a lifetime batting average of .344 over his 19-year career. Prophetically, he became one of the greatest hitter to ever live. Ted Williams hit his 521st (and last) home run at Fenway Park in his final at-bat of his career. Theodore Samuel Williams was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966. In Ted’s induction speech for Cooperstown, Williams became one of the first enshrinees to speak out in favor of Negro League players earning consideration for induction into the Hall of Fame. Upon his retirement, Ted served as the manager for the Washington Senators/Texas Rangers for four years (1969-1971/1972) where he compiled a record of 273-364 in 637 games. Williams advocated for the “Jimmy Fund”, which raised money for adult and pediatric cancer and research at the Dana-Faber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. He was an avid fisherman and teamed with Sear Roebuck to develop a line of sporting goods, both for baseball, but also for the outdoorsman. Forever recognized for his amazing hitting, Williams made one of his final public appearances at the 1999 MLB All-Star Game at Fenway Park notably shaking hands with fellow batting champions Wade Boggs, Tony Gwynn and others. Ted Williams died on July 5, 2002. 

Card Number EX 5 EX-MT 6 NM 7 NM+ 7.5 NM-MT 8 NM-MT+ 8.5 MT 9
485 $50 $75 $120 $150 $245 $375 $1,100
Name   Auth PR
Ted Williams
All Star
Condition Census (Explain)
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 GEM MT 10
2 MINT 9 (13)
Public Auctions
Grade Price Date Firm Sale Lot #
NM-MT 8 $200 Jun-2013 Mile High Card Company June 2013 282
NM-MT+ 8.5 $360 Apr-2013 Greg Bussineau Auctions Spring 2013 Vintage Trading Cards and Memorabilia Auction 417
MINT 9 $1,178 Feb-2013 Mile High Card Company January 2013 Auction 735
NM-MT 8 $180 Dec-2012 Greg Bussineau Auctions Fall 2012 Vintage Trading Cards and Memorabilia Auction 683
EX-MT 6 $227 Mar-2012 Heritage Auctions Sunday Internet Sports Collectibles Auction 41020
NM-MT 8 $220 Sep-2011 Mile High Card Company Extra Innings Sept 2011 105
NM-MT 8 $144 Jun-2011 Goodwin and Co. Auctions Masterpieces and Uncommon Commons XXXIII 672
NM-MT+ 8.5 $382 May-2011 Mile High Card Company May 2011 935
MINT 9 $940 Apr-2011 SCP Auctions SCP Auctions April 2011 Internet Auction 461
NM-MT 8 $236 Feb-2011 Goodwin and Co. Auctions Masterpieces and Uncommon Commons XXXI 618
MINT 9 $806 Dec-2010 Memory Lane, Inc. Wintertime Classics 372
NM-MT 8 $179 Dec-2010 Goodwin and Co. Auctions Masterpieces and Uncommon Commons XXX 904
NM-MT 8 $214 Apr-2010 Memory Lane, Inc. Springtime Classic 2010 527
NM 7 $94 Apr-2010 Heritage Auctions Sunday Internet Sports Auction 41007
MINT 9 $908 Dec-2009 Memory Lane, Inc. Hidden Treasures Vintage Rarities 575
MINT 9 $1,500 Aug-2009 Memory Lane, Inc. Sizzling Summer Vintage Rarities 430
EX 5 $72 Apr-2009 Heritage Auctions Sunday Internet Sports Auction 44015
MINT 9 $1,771 Apr-2009 Memory Lane, Inc. Historical Classic Rarities 471
NM-MT 8 $518 Apr-2009 Memory Lane, Inc. Historical Classic Rarities 472
GEM MT 10 $6,226 Jan-2009 SCP Auctions SCP Auctions January 2009 Internet Auction 368
MINT 9 $1,673 Oct-2008 Heritage Auctions 2008 October Signature Sports Collectibles Auction 19204
MINT 9 $2,524 Oct-2008 Mile High Card Company August 2008 Auction 712
NM-MT 8 $284 Mar-2008 Goodwin and Co. Auctions Masterpieces and Uncommon Commons XIV 509
NM-MT 8 $284 Mar-2008 Goodwin and Co. Auctions Masterpieces and Uncommon Commons XXIV 436
MINT 9 $1,793 Oct-2007 Heritage Auctions 2007 October Signature Sports Collectibles Auction - Session I 19242
MINT 9 $2,196 Apr-2007 Memory Lane, Inc. Spring 2007 510
NM 7 $108 Jan-2007 Heritage Auctions Monthly Internet Sports Auction 10205
MINT 9 $2,828 Nov-2006 SCP Auctions SCP Auctions November 2006 Internet Auction 493

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