Updated at 9:55 A.M., Saturday Jul. 2
San Diego native Ted Williams was posthumously inducted into the Padres Hall of Fame before Friday night’s 7-6 victory over the New York Yankees at Petco Park in conjunction with the grand opening of the Padres Hall of Fame.
“San Diego will always be a part of Ted Williams and now Ted Williams will always be a part of San Diego,” Williams’ daughter, Claudia, said during the induction ceremony.
Williams was honored both for his time as a member of the Pacific Coast League Padres during the 1936 and 1937 seasons and for his lifetime contributions to the game of baseball.
Williams grew up in North Park and graduated from Herbert Hoover High School. He was 17 years old when he joined the Padres in 1936, their first season in the Pacific Coast League, hitting .271 in 42 games.
Williams hit .291 with 23 home runs in 138 games in 1937, helping the Padres win the Pacific Coast League title, San Diego’s first professional baseball championship.
After playing with the Minneapolis Millers of the American Association in 1938, Williams was promoted to the Boston Red Sox in 1939. He played 19 seasons with the team, missing three seasons when he served in the Marine Corps during World War II.
Williams .344 career batting average is eighth highest in major league history and his 521 home runs are 19th on the all-time list.
Williams developed a friendship with fellow future Baseball Hall of Fame member Tony Gwynn in the 1990s and helped the campaign to build what is now Petco Park. Williams died in 2002 at the age of 83.
Williams will be the 12th person inducted into the Padres Hall of Fame, whose selections are made by the team’s front office in collaboration with the San Diego chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America and local sports media.
The new Padres Hall of Fame is on K Street behind the left field seating area. It features an in-depth timeline of the organization’s history and greatest moments when it was the Pacific Coast League from 1936-68 and in the National League from 1969 to the present, as well as interactive displays and tributes to the players, broadcasters and executives who have made an impact on baseball in San Diego.
—City News Service
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