Struck on the right elbow by a non-curving curve-ball, Ted Williams, the heavy artillery of the Red Sox attack, was painfully bruised in yesterday’s exhibition game at Fenway Park against an American League all-star team.
Rushed to the office of a Bay State Road physician for X-rays, Williams, not to mention Red Sox officials and followers, was elated that the pictures disclosed nothing more than a bruise. Dr. Ralph McCarthy, the Sox team physician, ordered Williams out of the remaining all-star games and said he hoped Ted would be ready for the World Series.
Williams laughed off the existing pain in the elbow as he sat in the whirlpool bath and later on a rubbing table in the Sox clubhouse, listening to the broadcast of the opening Cards-Dodgers playoff in St. Louis.
“It ain’t sore,” he said. “It swelled up like a hard-boiled egg after I came in the clubhouse. But I’m all right. I’m not going to the football game tonight. No sense in taking a chance out in the cold. I want to be ready for the World Series.”
Ted was hit in the fifth inning by Mickey Haefner’s first pitch. “I saw it spinning half-way to the plate,” related Ted, “I laid back waiting for it to curve. But as it came on me, I saw it was just spinning and wasn’t going to curve. I tried pulling away from it but it hit me in the elbow.”
Trainer Green applies ice packs
When he came into the clubhouse trainer Win Green applied ice packs to the aching elbow. It reduced the swelling considerably. Then as Ted started for the showers it began to puff up again. So Dr. McCarthy took Ted to the office of Dr. Ralph Butler, where he had X-rays taken of the elbow. They turned out negative.
So Ted was brought back to the clubhouse. He spent 20 minutes soaking in it water of 108 degrees in the special whirlpool bath at Fenway Park. It loosened up the arm. Then ice packs were applied and it began to ache and swell once more.
Ted was instructed to rest today. He’ll come out to the park for a couple of 20-minute sessions in the whirlpool tub, which is about one-quarter the size of a bathtub. The bath is equipped with special pumps and faucets which keep the water at a steady temperature, as well as in a constant whirl.
“Gee,” said Ted, when told he had to rest, “I would have liked to go fishing. But I guess I won’t be able to cast left-handed. I better take care of this.”
When the ice-pack was removed and the Cardinals had gone ahead, 4 to 2, Ted said, “It looks like I finally picked a winner. But those Dodgers are tough to beat at home. They’ll make a fight of it before they lose. If Brooklyn does win, I think we’d do well to split even in the first two games at Ebbetts Field. If we did, I think we’d win three straight at Fenway. Or maybe that’s too strong a prediction. Aw, heck, I’m still stringing with the Cardinals.
Trainer Win Green applied a small pad, then wrapped the mighty elbow in an ice-bandage, gave Ted a couple of sleeping pills and told him to go on home and stay out of the cold. A friend offered to drive Ted home.
“I can drive myself,” he told the volunteer. “I’m okay.”
Elbow badly puffed
The elbow was swelled about two inches when he finally left the Sox clubhouse. Ted admitted that there was a sharp pain in one spot. He didn’t have normal use of the elbow, and Green had to be tender as he wrapped the ace bandage around it. “Wrap it as tight as you can,” he ordered Green. Win obeyed and then told Ted that if it gets too tight at night to take it off.
While there were no bone chips or fractures, there is little question that Ted will be at a disadvantage in the coming series. It isn’t likely that he will regain normal use of his elbow for about 10 days. It will hurt him to swing, but Ted said last night that he’ll be in there “swingin’ pain or no pain.”
Today, the elbow is expected to be extremely painful. Dr. McCarthy said it would take a couple of days before he could make a definite decision as to whether Williams should play in the World Series.
Staring tomorrow, Win Green will give Ted some light massages in the hope that he can restore the elbow to its natural condition. In the meantime, Williams will not swing a bat or throw a ball until probably the opening day of the World Series.