Pacific Coast League Padres ~ Index to Players ~
Ted Williams, outfield
San Diego’s best-known native, Ted Williams has been called baseball’s greatest hitter. In his major league career with the Boston Red Sox (1939-60), punctuated by military service in World War II and Korea, he hit 521 home runs and batted .344. Baseball’s last .400 hitter (.406 in 1941), “The Kid” was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1966.
[Manny Salvo interview by Bill Swank, 4 February 1995, transcript notes.]
On opening day in 1936, I was sitting on the bench in Boston. They had made a deal with San Diego for Bobby Doerr and George Myatt. Mr. Cronin called me into his office and said [Bill] Lane had called and told him, “You either send me Salvo right away or I’m calling this deal off!” Cronin showed me the telegraph and asked how I’d like to go. I said I’d prefer to fly. They made arrangements. They held up the plane and it was raining like hell. I didn’t feel it take off and the guy sitting next to me said we were in the air. It was my first flight in a plane. It was one of those old Tri-Motors with motors on each wing and one in the middle. I met the team in Oakland.
In the playoffs, I think it was ’37, Sacramento wanted to play us so bad, they could taste it. We knew we had the pitching to beat them and we beat them real bad. Portland was in the playoffs, too and we beat them three straight in San Diego. Then, we went all the way up there and beat ’em again. We had Howard Craghead, Wally Hebert, Tiny Chaplin, myself and Herman Pillette. We only had six pitchers that year and in good, tight games, we’d relieve each other. We’d warm up and pitch a few innings. We had a good staff. We had some good kids on that team. They [Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr, George McDonald] were teenagers and I was twenty-four-years- old.