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First Person

Ted Williams’s daughter, Claudia Williams, tells her story

The last surviving child of the Boston Red Sox legend has written a book that offers an intimate view of the man.

Claudia Willams

My first trip to Fenway was in May of 1982 [to watch dad play in an old-timers game]. It was the most surprising and eye-opening experience a 10-year-old could have. I had no idea the impact that he had on New England. When I saw the reaction of the crowd, I was overwhelmed with emotion, with pride, with awe. 

I wrote this [book] to set my family’s story straight and to defend two heroes in my life: my father and my brother, John-Henry. The thing I most want people to know about my father is that he was an extremely enthusiastic, complex, and wonderful “Kid” to have as a father. My brother is perhaps even more misunderstood than my father. He was by far the best protector and caretaker and son that a father or a sister could wish for.

What people get right about my father is that he was a hall-of-famer of swearing, but he was truly larger than life and an extremely allegiant, patriotic American. One of his proudest accomplishments in his life was being a Marine. His heart was with children stricken with diseases. He was devoted to The Jimmy Fund practically his entire career and well beyond, until his death.

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 I hope Red Sox fans reading this book will feel a little bit more cautious and pause before they read anything that is written in [the media]. I hope they feel proud that one of the greatest New

England heroes was defended by his daughter, and hopefully there is some closure with that defense.   

— As told to Joel Brown (Interview has been edited and condensed.)

READ MORE Ted Williams, My Father: A Memoir will be released on May 13. Claudia Williams lives in Florida and has just finished nursing school.