Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Ted Williams’ Heart of Gold


When he wasn’t playing baseball, Ted Williams was busy helping raise money to support adult and pediatric cancer care and research for the Jimmy Fund out of Boston.

The new documentary from THIRTEEN’s American Masters, co-produced by Albert M. Tapper Productions, in association with Major League Baseball, David Ortiz’ Big Papi Productions and Nick Davis Productions, explores not only the Baseball Hall of Famer’s remarkable on-field accomplishments but also his complicated relationships with his family, teammates, press, fans and himself. American Masters – Ted Williams: “The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived” premieres Monday, July 23 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings) in honor of Williams’ centennial (August 30, 1918 – July 5, 2002), and marks the first baseball subject in the series’ 32-year history. The film will be available to stream the following day via and PBS apps.

He had a good heart Ted... One of the things that he always used to tell my brother and me was that we have an obligation to make something better if you know that you can He got very involved in the Jimmy Fund charity in Boston that dealt with kids who had cancer. He would say to the doctors or nurses, 'Here's my private phone number or if you think that I can lift any kids spirits, give me a call and I'll be there.'

On one visit he was with this very sick child and the boy grabs Ted's finger and won't let go. And Ted motions for the nurse to move a cot over next to the boy he lays down with a boy the boy falls asleep and Ted with a boy still holding his finger rests at his side, now how great is that?

And he would insist that there be no press He made it clear to everyone and especially the press that if you write about it or take a picture of me in the hospital then I'm just not gonna do it anymore If dad couldn't control it, if dad didn't understand it, couldn't fix it it made him angry and every time we'd come out of that hospital he would curse the skys because he couldn't stand it to see these young kids who've done nothing wrong in their lives suffer They raised the millions of dollars for the Jimmy Fund and then he would also help others like retired ball players who would run out of money and he would call him up and say that he was raising money for the Jimmy Fund and the guy would say, 'Jesus, Ted you know I'm tapped out I can't I can't give you any money here. Sorry.'

and he'd say, 'God damn it, this is Ted Williams you know write me a check for $10,' So the fellow would send the cheque and Ted would take the account number on the check and put a thousand dollars in the guy's account There was something very genuine about Ted Williams, flaws and all.