Every hero needs a foil. The natural enemy for most hitters is the pitcher. Not so for Ted Williams, who wrote that “pitchers as a breed are dumb and hardheaded” in his seminal book The Science of Hitting. Pitchers barely interfered with his lifelong quest to be called The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived because no one practiced and prepared more than “Teddy Ballgame.” He stood before mirrors, swinging bats and broomsticks until his blisters bled. He memorized pitchers’ tendencies in every conceivable situation. He constantly quizzed veterans, pumping them for knowledge. He never stopped asking questions. Williams was singularly…

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