I’m not one who shares in the joy of seeing the highlights of other people’s trips. I didn’t like watching the slides from my relative’s trips when I was little, didn’t like Super 8 movies when I was a teenager, didn’t like the VHS vacation tapes as a younger adult, and I still don’t like the DVD/iMovies/ or any other technological presentations of someone else’s trip to this day. So, although I’m on a trip of my own right now, I will not share the destination with you in fear of being a hypocrite… but I will tell you we’re staying at a place that happens to be next to Ted William’s old house! That’s where we begin this week’s BLArticle™ because we all know there must be a story here!
Or is there? I mean, for those of you who don’t know who Ted Williams is, he’s only arguably one of the greatest hitters in baseball! They called him, “Teddy Baseball” and “The Splendid Splinter!” You’ve got to be awfully good to acquire those nicknames, and here I am, staying one door away from his old house. Oh, there’s a story here someplace.
So, I started asking the locals: “Tell me what you remember about Ted Williams.” In the typically honest responses from locals, their answers were fairly simple. “Nice guy – kept to himself.” Some more daring locals told me, “kept to himself – nice guy.” One young man didn’t even know he was a baseball player but he had heard, “he was a good man.” To borrow a baseball term, I was striking out.
Well, it wasn’t as if I didn’t have access to Google. I’d show these local folks. I’d do my own research. So I googled The Splendid Splinter, and I did find out some pretty cool facts. For instance:
- Did you know that Ted Williams was considered one of the most influential baseball players to ever play the game?
- Did you know that Ted Williams would autograph baseballs to whoever asked for one?
- Did you know that Ted Williams hit a home run in his final at bat in 1960?
- Did you know that Ted William was inducted into the hall of fame in 1966?
Isn’t the internet, and Google, amazing?! But I was troubled with my research. I felt like I learned nothing new about this man, so I changed my Google search to, “Obscure Facts about Ted Williams” and that’s when I found my story. For instance:
- Ted Williams was indeed influential! In fact, he was the most influential person in the quest to raise funds for the Children’s Cancer Research Foundation. It is estimated that Williams is personally responsible for raising millions of dollars in the fight against cancer, AIDS, and other related diseases.
- The day before that final famous at bat of his career, he spent the day quietly visiting a gravely ill boy at the Jimmy Fund Clinic, followed by a drive to Rhode Island for four separate Jimmy Fund appearances.
- When Ted William would autograph a ball, he would always ask for the check to be made out to, “Ted Williams for the Jimmy Fund,” so he could immediately endorse it over to charity.
- When Ted Williams was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, he used it as an opportunity to help others. He succeeded in getting friends and admirers to make record contributions to his charity. He raised over $262,000 during that one event.
I just knew there was a BLArticle™ here, and I found one. Sometimes the most important things about a person are not on the surface, and they’re not on the first Google page either. It made we wonder how often I really dig past the surface with a story, a friend, or a client. It also made we wonder what will be on my second Google page someday.
I’m glad I got to stay next to Ted William’s house on this trip because it provided me with a reminder, and taught me something I didn’t know about a good man. The interesting thing about the locals is that they didn’t know him as a baseball player; they only knew him as “a good man.” A very good man.