In the introduction to his short book, “What Do You Think of Ted Williams Now?” (based on an Esquire magazine profile written more than twenty years ago), Richard Ben Cramer writes:
Reputation dies hard in the baseball nation, and in the larger industry of American iconography. Even at the close of the century, forty years after he’d left the field, there still attached to Ted a lingering whiff of bile from the days when he spat toward booing Fenway fans. And there were heartbroken hundreds who’d freshen that scent with their stories: how hew as rude to them when they tried ti interrupt him for an autography or a grip-and-grin photo. (The thousands who got their signatures or snapshots found that unremarkable.)
In the northeast corner of the nation, there were still thousands who blamed Ted for neverl hauling the Red Sox to World Series triumph. (Someone must bear the blame for decades of disappointment when their own rooting love was so piquant and pure.)…Around New York more thousands still resented Ted–and had to reduce him–for contesting with Joe DiMaggio for the title of the Greatest of the Golden Age. They insisted that Ted never won anything (and reviled him, in short for never being a Yankee).
Reading this, it struck me that it’s no surprise that Cramer’s next biography is about Alex Rodriguez. What do you expect to get from this forthcoming biography on Rodriguez? Even better, what do you hope to find in the book?