Holy Cross Home Skip the Navigation
Search | Site Index | Directions | Web Services | Calendar
 About HC    |   Admissions   |   Academics   |   Administration   |   Alumni & Friends   |   Athletics   |   Library
Holy Cross Magazine
  Book Notes
  Class Notes
  In Memoriam
  Road Signs
  Search the Magazine
  All Issues
  About the Magazine




    "The Kid" Makes His Mark at Holy Cross

The Story Behind the "Ted Williams Photo"

On April 14, 1939, a brash young ballplayer stepped into the Fitton Field batter’s box—and a legend was born. On that day, about 5,000 fans braved frigid weather to see the annual Red Sox-Holy Cross exhibition game before the start of the regular season.

The Holy Cross crowd also came to get their first glimpse of a 22-year-old rookie named Ted Williams.

In a 1994 interview with Worcester Telegram columnist John Gearan ’65, a 76-year-old Williams recalled, “We played Yale the day before in New Haven. Then we played Holy Cross in an exhibition, and I got my first homer.”

In his first time at bat in Massachusetts, Williams hit Holy Cross pitcher Mike Klarnick’s shoulder-high fastball for a grand slam home run. Williams smashed a scorching line drive over the head of Henry Ouellette in deepest center field that rolled all the way onto the football field. Williams knocked in Joe Cronin, Jimmy Foxx and Jim Tabor.

Williams later singled in another run; during the game he dropped Joe Delaney’s fly ball to right field after a long run. The Red Sox routed Holy Cross 14-2 that day.

In this photo, taken in the first inning just before Williams blasted his home run, the spires of O’Kane Hall are clearly visible. Catching for Holy Cross is Dave Barry, and the umpire is George Pipgras, a former Red Sox and Yankees pitcher.

Catching for the Red Sox that day was Gene Desautels, a Worcester native and former Holy Cross great, who played 13 years in the majors.



Ted Williams

Ted Williams

   College of the Holy Cross   |   1 College Street, Worcester, MA 01610   |   (508) 793 2011   |   Copyright 2005   |                  email   |   webmaster@holycross.edu