I always cheated for Ted Williams. I guess that made him my favorite athlete. In the game we played in my neighborhood with baseball cards and a single set of dice there was no allowance for statistical probabilities. A Reno Bertoia or a Billy Consolo had the same chance of hitting .400 as No. 9 did. Except, of course, in my bedroom. Ted always received a second roll of the dice after an obvious strikeout, sometimes more. He might have had his troubles in the outside world, but never in Apartment 301, 80 Howe Street, New Haven, Connecticut.
-- Leigh Montville is a Hall of Fame sportswriter, the Boston Globe columnist when that was by far the best sports section in America, Sports Illustrated writer, author of eight books and the person I always wanted to be. You can still read him regularly at the excellent Sports on Earth site.