Ted Williams Quotes

Discover the Legendary Wisdom of Ted Williams: Baseball Icon, War Hero, and Master of the Perfect Swing
Written by Mark Bailey
Last updated on

Ted Williams was one of the greatest baseball players in history. He played for the Boston Red Sox for his entire career and was known by his nickname, “The Splendid Splinter”.

Williams had an impressive batting average of .344, hit 521 home runs, and had 1839 runs batted in throughout his career. He was selected to the All-Star Game 19 times and had one of the highest Wins Above Replacement statistics in baseball history.

Ted Williams also served in the US military during World War II and the Korean War. His legacy and achievements are celebrated at the Ted Williams Museum and Hitters Hall of Fame.

In this article, we have compiled a list of some of the most memorable and inspiring quotes from Ted Williams.

Best Quotes

“A man has to have goals – for a day, for a lifetime – and that was mine, to have people say, ‘There goes Ted Williams, the greatest hitter who ever lived.’”

“People always told me that my natural ability and good eyesight were the reasons for my success as a hitter. They never talk about the practice, practice, practice.”

“Baseball gives every American boy a chance to excel, not just to be as good as someone else but to be better than someone else. This is the nature of man and the name of the game.”

“It was always fun for me, I loved baseball so darn much. By the hours I practiced, you’d have to say I was working a lot of hours, but it was pretty near tireless fun for me. I’d rather swing a bat than do anything else in the world.”

“I’ve found that you don’t need to wear a necktie if you can hit.”

“Think. Don’t just swing. Think about the pitcher, what he threw you last time up, his best pitch, who’s up next. Think.”

“All I want out of life is that when I walk down the street, folks will say, “There goes the greatest hitter who ever lived.””

“The most fun I ever had in my life was hittin’ a baseball. And the best sound I ever heard in my life was a ball hit with a bat. Powww!”

“If I’m gonna be a champion, I want to win as a champion. I’m staying in to the end.”

“If you don’t think too good, don’t think too much.”

“If there was ever a man born to be a hitter it was me.”

“Hitting is the most important part of the game. It is where the big money is, where much of the status is, and the fan interest.”

“I sure have. I’d like to break every hitting record in the books. When I walk down the street, I’d like for them to say, “There goes Ted Williams, the best hitter in baseball.””

“You know why that’s my favorite hit? Well, they say that the only other two players who ever hit one over there were Ruth and Gehrig. But now they have to say “only Ruth, Gehrig and Williams ever hit one over there.’ Yes sir, that’s putting the old string bean in some pretty fast company when they say that.”

Baseball Quotes

“Baseball is the only field of endeavor where a man can succeed three times out of ten and be considered a good performer.”

“The hardest thing to do in baseball is to hit a round baseball with a round bat, squarely.”

“There’s only one way to become a hitter. Go up to the plate and get mad. Get mad at yourself and mad at the pitcher.”

“Joe DiMaggio was the greatest all-around player I ever saw. His career can not be summed up in numbers and awards. It might sound corny, but he had a profound and lasting impact on the country.”

“There has always been a saying in baseball that you can’t make a hitter, but I think you can improve a hitter. More than you can improve a fielder. More mistakes are made hitting than in any other part of the game.”

“The key to hitting is just plain working at it. Work, that’s the real secret.”

“Baseball is 50% from the neck up.”

“If I was being paid thirty-thousand dollars a year, the very least I could do was hit .400.”

“You’ve got to be ready for the fastball.”

“All managers are losers, they are the most expendable pieces of furniture on the face of the Earth.”

“If you get fooled by a pitch with less than two strikes, take it.”

“They invented the All-Star game for Willie Mays.”

“You have to hit the fastball to play in the big leagues.”

“If I could run like Mantle I’d hit .400 every year!”

“I hope somebody hits .400 soon. Then people can start pestering that guy with questions about the last guy to hit .400.”

“I don’t want to take anything away from Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle. They’re both great hitters, but they’re batting against guys they never would have seen in previous years.”

“Hitting is fifty percent above the shoulders.”

“Baseball’s future? Bigger and bigger, better and better! No question about it, it’s the greatest game there is!”

“I know – I know all about you (Carl Yastrzemski). Look, kid, don’t ever – ya’ understand me? – don’t ever let anyone monkey with your swing.”

“Batting coaches are just as important as pitching coaches. Lefty O’Doul gave me good advice when he said: “Don’t ever let them change you.” I also asked for help from Cobb, Foxx and Hornsby.”

“I knew what was going on at that plate. It used to kill me to strike out, but when I struck out I knew what it was that got me and what I was going to try to do about it.”

“I think without question the hardest single thing to do in sport is to hit a baseball. A .300 hitter, that rarest of breeds these days, goes through life with the certainty that he will fail at his job seven out of ten times.”

“The unbelievable part about the Babe, of course, was that he hit only 34 homers in the first two-thirds of the season and then smacked 26 homers in the final third. Wow! What a way to finish!”

“Why do they cheer me for hitting a homer and then boo me for grounding out the next time up. I’m still the same guy, ain’t I? They can all go to hell. I’ll never tip my cap to them.”

“Get a good pitch to hit!”

“Hmmm… wait until Foxx sees me hit.”

“Gee, I wish I could play here just one season just to see what I could do.”

“He told me the single most important thing for a hitter was “to get a good ball to hit.”

“Any pitcher throwing sinkers and hard sliders.”

Motivational Quotes

“I’ve found in life the more you practice, the better you get. If you want something enough and work hard to get it, your chances of success are greater.”

“Just keep going. Everybody gets better if they keep at it.”

“No one has come up with a substitute for hard work.”

Life Quotes

“It’s a funny thing, but, as years go by, I think you appreciate more and more what a great thing it was to be a United States Marine… People will tell me what a shame it was I had to go back into the service a second time, but I’m kinda glad I did.. Besides, I am a U.S. Marine and I’ll be one till I die.

“All the bullets and all the bombs that explode all over the world won’t leave the impact, when all is said and done, of a dollar bill dropped in the Jimmy Fund pot by a warm heart and a willing hand. You should be proud and happy to know that your contribution will someday help some kid to a better life.”

“A kid copies what is good. I remember the first time I saw Lefty O’Doul, and he was as far away as those palms. And I saw the guy come to bat in batting practice. I was looking through a knothole, and I said, ‘Geez, does that guy look good!’ And it was Lefty O’Doul, one of the greatest hitters ever.”

“God gets you to the plate, but once you’re there you’re on your own.”

“By the time you know what to do, you’re too old to do it.”

“I object to fishing tournaments less for what they do to fish than what they do to fishermen.”

“The Cleveland Cavaliers just offered me a full-time job and a house! A house! A house!”

What’s your favorite?

Though he passed away in 2002, the words of Ted Williams still echo throughout our lives up to this day. The next time you find yourself struggling with a problem, be sure to consult these quotes for some much-needed wisdom and perspective. And if you have a favorite quote from Ted Williams that isn’t on this list, let us know in the comments! Be sure to share this blog post with your fellow baseball fans and spread the sage advice of “The Splendid Splinter.”