There was little to cheer about for Boston fans in 1960. Boston would finish in seventh place (65-89) in the eight team American League, and three managers spent time at the helm. But the best all-round hitter in baseball history kept his standards high from beginning to end. "Teddy Ballgame" started off his 21st season with a tape measure home run in his first at bat on April 18 in Washington. He hit his 500th in Cleveland on June 17. And he hit this home run, his 521st, on the last swing of his illustrious career, the ball sailing out to center field and landing in the home team's bullpen.
He batted .316 in that final season, hit 29 home runs and played in his 18th All-Star game. His career achievements are monstrous: two triple crowns, two MVPs, six batting titles and baseball’s last .400 season (1941). After his 1942 Triple Crown season (.356/36/137), he served his country for three years in the Navy and Marines (1943-1945), returning in 1946 to take home league MVP honors (.342/38/123). He also missed 92 games during the 1952 and 1953 seasons while flying 39 missions as a Marine combat aviator. Future astronaut and U.S. Senator John Glenn was his wing man.
Jim-Pagliaroni, the Sox 17 year old rookie catcher was the lucky player in the on-deck circle who congratulated the unflappable Splendid Splinter as he rounded third base for the last time. Pagliaroni’s boyhood hero was Ted Williams. Of note, Pagliaroni would later catch Catfish Hunter’s May 8, 1968 perfect game.
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