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The barnacles of sentimentality and nostalgia that beset a look backward into the ‘golden age’ of baseball suggest that we would never know about that complicated genius of the plate Ted Williams. But here he is, fully realized with all the glory and guts and all the controversial and all–too–real aspects of this human being intact. Bravo.

~ Ken Burns

Over decades now, much has been written about Ted Williams, a good bit of it of considerable literary and journalistic merit. But Ben Bradlee Jr’s The Kid ranks as the most comprehensive – revealing facts, anecdotes and insights which add to the record, and will be of fresh interest to even the most ardent Williams followers.

~ Bob Costas

I thought I knew everything there was to know about Ted Williams. I was wrong. Ben Bradlee Jr.’s reporting skills bring us Teddy Ballgame as we have never seen him before. There are some uncomfortable truths here, but The Kid should stand as the final word on the greatest hitter who ever lived.

~ Dan Shaughnessy – best–selling author of Francona, the Red Sox Years

I love this book. Ben Bradlee Jr’s epic study of Ted Williams, The Kid, is a fascinating exploration into the mind of a complicated artistic genius. Like so many artists and baseball giants, Williams had a raging insecurity that Bradlee captures. Yet he was the first Hall of Fame player to be an outspoken champion of his sport’s civil rights with his call for the inclusion of Negro League players in The Hall of Fame. To all of us that knew Ted, this is not a baseball biography, it is the portrait of an artist from an immigrant background to arguably the greatest moment in All Star Game history in 1999.

~ Peter Gammons – analyst for ESPN and recipient of the J. G. Taylor Spink Award for outstanding baseball writing given by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

You think you know the Ted Williams story? If you haven’t read Ben Bradlee Jr.’s, The Kid, you’re not even close. Bradlee’s prodigious research, conducted over nearly a decade, yields a Williams even more independent-minded, even more gifted, and even more cantankerous than the one we think we recall.

~ Daniel Okrent – author of: Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition; Great Fortune: The Epic of Rockefeller Center

In The Kid, Ben Bradlee Jr. gives us a man in full. And, oh, what a man Ted Williams was: baseball aesthete, war hero, angler, paterfamilias of a dysfunctional family that won’t let him rest in peace. In this definitive, panoramic portrait, Bradlee recounts the giddy heights of baseball’s last .400 hitter and his descent into an ignominious afterlife. The scourge of Fenway Park scribes has finally met his match.

~ Jane Leavy – author of the New York Times bestsellers The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of American’s Childhood, and Sandy Koufax: A Lefty’s Legacy
The Kid - The Immortal Life of Ted Williams by Ben Bradlee Jr.

About the Book

Ted Williams wanted to be an immortal. He arrived in Boston in 1939, a cocky 20 year–old phenom eager to become, in his words, the “greatest hitter who ever lived.” Just two years later his .406 batting average–a mark that has never again been met–backed up that claim. In The Kid, Ben Bradlee, Jr., draws on numerous untapped sources to take us inside the clubhouse, the batter’s box, and beyond. He reveals new details about Williams’s feelings of shame over his Mexican heritage, his war service, the rages that fueled his brilliance on the field but severely damaged his private life, and the bizarre family drama that played out after Ted’s death, when his body was cryonically preserved. The Kid is the story of a man as big as his myth, the story of an exceptional, tumultuous and epic American life – an immortal life.

Appearances & Book Signings

June 20th to 22nd Nantucket Book Festival
Nantucket Book Festival, Various Venues, Nantucket, MA.

Aug. 15th 7:00 pm Reading and Signing
Jabberwocky Books, 50 Water St., Newburyport, MA 01950

October 25th book panel
The Boston Book Festival, Copley Square, Boston MA

Trailer for “The Kid”

First Pitch

Red Sox game at Jet Blue Park on March 10, 2014