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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

Feb. 25th | 6:00pm book talk and signing
Barnes & Noble, Lake Sumter Market Square, 1055 Old Camp Road, The Villages, FL. 32162

March 1st | 2:00pm book talk and signing
Barnes & Noble, 11802 N. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa, FL. 33618

March 2nd | 2:00pm, book talk and signing
Barnes & Noble, 4010 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL. 34231

March 3rd | 1:00pm, book talk and signing
Vero Beach Book Center, 392 21st St., Vero Beach, FL. 32960

March 5th | 6:30pm book talk and signing
Books & Books, 927 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, FL. 33139

March 10th | 1:00pm book signing
Jet Blue Park, 11581 Daniels Parkway, Ft. Myers, FL. 33913

March 12th | 7:00pm book talk and signing
Barnes & Noble, 5377 Tamiami Trail, Naples, FL. 34108

March 17th | 7:00pm book talk and signing
Barnes & Noble, 13751 Tamiami Trail, Ft. Myers, FL. 33912

March 20th | 7:00pm talk and book signing
Books-A-Million, 6701 S. Kirkman Road, Orlando, FL, 32819

March 25th - March 26th conference and signing
Oxford Book Conference at the University of Mississippi. Panel with Curtis Wilkie and signing at Square Books, Oxford, MS, 38655

March 31st book talk and signing
Hampshire House, 84 Beacon St., Boston, Mass., Hosted by Blackstone’s of Beacon Hill and the Hampshire House. For ticket information call 617-227-4646.

April 1st book talk and signing
Bergino Baeball Clubhouse, 67 East 11th St., the Flat Iron Building, New York, NY.

April 3rd | 5:30 - 8:00pm “Pros” & Conversation Gala
At the Lucy Wheelock Mansion, Wheelock College, The Fenway, Boston, MA.

April 7th | 6:30pm book talk and signing
Cambridge Public Library, Lecture Hall, Main Branch, 449 Broadway, Cambridge, MA.

April 16th book talk and signing
Rockport Public Library, 17 School St., Rockport, MA.

April 28th book talk and signing
Prospect Public Library, 17 Center St., Prospect, CT.

May 6th, book talk and signing
Falmouth Historical Society, Education Center, 55 Palmer Ave., Falmouth, MA., 02540

May 13th book talking and signing
Bear Pond Books, 77 Main Street, Montpelier, VT. 05602

May 14th | 7:00pm book talk and signing
Marlborough Public Library, 35 West Main St., Marlborough, MA.

May 16th to May 18th conference
Biographers International Organization, University of Massachusetts Boston, Columbia Point, Boston, MA.

May 27th 7:00pm book talk and signing
Weston Public Library, 87 School St., Weston MA 02493

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

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