Once “The Splendid Splinter” said, “Baseball is the only field of endeavor where a man can succeed three times out of 10 and be considered a good performer.”
Ted Williams was right.
He was so right that’s why he is considered by the majority of baseball historians as the greatest hitter ever to have played in the majors.
Years ago, I had the opportunity to meet him at an activity at the Ted Williams Museum Hitter Hall of Fame, which in those days was located in Hernando (Florida)–nowadays the museum is located at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg–and I asked him about his own book Ted Williams’ Hit List .
In the book, he wrote about who in his opinion were the greatest 20 hitters of all time in Major League Baseball.
In the list, there are the names of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Rogers Hornsby, Jimmie Foxx, and Joe DiMaggio.
Also in his top-20 are Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Frank Robinson, Mickey Mantle, and Stan Musial.
In the list also appear 10 other great ballplayers but no Latinos.
Williams told me about his hitting philosophy and selection but he also told me that if he would have made a top all-time Latino hitter list at that moment only six names would appear.
On the top of his head, he said with no hesitation his No. 1 would be Roberto Clemente.
Thereafter, in no specific order, would be Rod Carew, Roberto Alomar, Alex Rodriguez, Edgar Martinez, and Manny Ramirez.
Taking also in consideration the words of the man that also once said, “If there was ever a man born to be a hitter it was me.”
Although I would have appreciated to know Williams’ opinion today, here is my all-time Latino greatest hitters list: