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The Red Sox used to come to Harvard to practice in our cage on rainy days. We had the only indoor facility in the area at the time. I was an undergraduate then, and as soon as we saw it was raining, we'd all go down to watch the Red Sox, to watch Ted Williams. One day there was a bunch of kids around the batting cage, Ted at bat; a pitch came in, and he didn't swing. One of the wise-guy college kids shouted, "Strike!" Ted turned around and said, "That was not a god-damned strike. What do you know about baseball?" Kids being kids, some of them laughed. Ted was fuming. His turn was done, so he stepped out and somebody else stepped in. You could see Ted was still mad. Fuming. He was muttering about the kids and the pitch, getting madder by the moment. When his turn finally came around again, you could see him squeezing the bat, harder and harder, still muttering. He was grinding his teeth. The pitcher threw the ball, and Ted swung, and he hit it so hard...there was a net, you know, inside the building...the ball went right through the net, broke the cords, then went straight to the ceiling, where it hit a big light. Broke the light. Sparks. Stuff falling from the ceiling. Ted turned to us. He said, "That was a strike, goddamn it." Walked away. It was the most amazing thing in sports I've ever seen.

William John "Billy" Cleary
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Harvard University Athletic Director

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