Those who strive to be the best at what they do never quit learning and the smart ones learn from the best.
"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.'"
"Hitting is fifty percent above the shoulders."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"You have to hit the fastball to play in the big leagues."
[Note: No one plays in the majors who makes it a habit to try to hit breaking pitches. Hitters must know the difference and develop the discipline necessary to hit the fastballs.]
"It was the center of my heart, hitting a baseball. (Boston general manager) Eddie Collins used to say I lived for my next at bat, and that's the way it was."
"Hitting is a correction thing."
About Ted Williams
"No hitter ever had more confidence at the plate than Ted Williams, every bit of it fully justified." ," Lawrence Ritter and Donald Honig in The Image of their Greatness
"He lived to swing a bat, this tall, brash, fidgety youngster with the Hollywood good looks," wrote Ritter and Honig. "He seemed to be never without a bat in his hands, be it on the field, in the dugout, in the clubhouse, and even in his hotel room, where one day an errant practice swing accidentally smashed a dresser mirror to pieces."
(The following is from a Boston Globe article)
"The subject was hitting discipline and philosophy, and how it has made the New York Yankees, Seattle Mariners, and Oakland Athletics so dominant.
"It was pounded on me from the day I signed into the A's organization," said Jason Giambi. "Then I got to the big leagues, and there was Mark McGwire as my example. But, really, this is all nothing new. What everyone is now focusing on is what Ted Williams preached his entire life. `Get a good pitch to hit," he always said, hitting in its simplest form.
""You want to teach hitting right?" Giambi continued. "Buy every kid in this country a copy of Ted Williams's book."
""I've heard it said that we changed the game because of our approach, our deep counts, our discipline and patience," said Joe Torre. "We didn't change anything. There's nothing new to be brought to hitting, because Ted understood it all. What have the Yankees been doing offensively the last six years? What Ted told us to do. In many ways, the Yankee philosophy is simply the Williams philosophy.""
"Ironically, the Red Sox did not believe in that teaching philosophy, which is what makes Shea Hillenbrand's rise to All-Star status so remarkable, not to mention admirable. This spring, when Ben Cherrington and Theo Epstein took over the baseball development operation, their first act was to pass out "The Science of Hitting" to every player in the system. "He defines everything that we hope our organizational philosophy will follow," said Epstein."
"When Wade Boggs was a sophomore at Plant High School in Tampa, he was struggling as a hitter. His father bought him Williams's book, and Boggs said he used to "stay up all night studying it." All the way to Cooperstown."
""You take all those terms that we all talk about today, and we apply them to both hitting and pitching," said Mets assistant general manager Jim Duquette. "Ted said that you cannot be a successful hitter or pitcher unless you command the strike zone. My guess is that Ted could teach a lot to pitchers.""
""I think," Giambi said, "that Ted would love the fact that Billy doesn't give that option as to whether you can be disciplined or not.""
""Ted," said Beane, "was right, and why argue with genius?""
"Oakland has minor league quotas for hitting. A player cannot be his team's Player of the Month if he doesn't reach a particular walk, on-base percentage, or OPS level. If Williams was still in baseball, he'd be working with the A's."
[It should be noted that the date of the article from which the above quotes were taken was July of 2002 and, at that point, the Boston Red Sox had not won a World Series since 1918. It should be also noted that the Boston Red Sox won the World Series in 2004...just 2 years after Theo Epstein distributed copies of Williams book "The Science of Hitting" to the team.]