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From the archives | Sept. 21

Ted Williams’ bat hits woman in stands

Repentant slugger cries in dugout

A bat thrown by Ted Williams at Fenway Park yesterday afternoon struck a woman spectator and resulted in her being hospitalized over night.

Apparently disgusted for taking a called third strike in the third inning, Williams flung his bat toward the Red Sox dugout.

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It sailed into a box seat and struck Mrs. Gladys Heffernan on the left side of her forehead.

Mrs. Heffernan, a housekeeper for Red Sox general manager Joe Cronin, at 77 Lake ave., Newton, was given first aid treatment at the park and then taken to Sancta Maria Hospital for X-rays and observation by Dr. Ralph McCarthy, Red Sox team physician.

Dr. McCarthy visited Mrs. Heffernan at the hospital early last evening. After reading the wet X-ray plates he said that there was no fracture or head concussion.

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“I’m having her kept there over night,” Dr. McCarthy said. “Tomorrow morning an X-ray specialist will read the dry plates and if he confirms the findings of the wet ones, we will have Mrs. Heffernan released from the hospital.”

Mrs. Heffernan bled from the contusion, but Dr. McCarthy reported that no stitches were required to close the wound.

Williams was obviously distressed by the incident. He shook his head in sorry when he realized his bat had struck and injured a grey-haired lady. He went over to Mrs. Heffernan and expressed his regrets.

When the injured woman was taken to the first aid room prior to going to the hospital, Williams went in to see here for a couple of minutes while his Sox teammates were at bat in the fifth inning.

There was a slight delay before Williams came out on the field for the start of the fourth inning. Summers went over to the Boston bench.

“Ted was sitting there crying,” Summers said. “I told Ted to get out to the outfield and play ball and to forget it.” It was Summers’ impression that Williams wanted to leave the game. “I didn’t think he wanted to play because he felt so badly about it,” Summers claimed.

Manager Mike Higgins declared that Ted was slow in going to his position because he wished to regain his composure. “He was terribly upset,” said the Sox slipper. According to Higgins, Williams had no thought about not continuing in the game.

For this latest episode, Williams faces his second fine of the year. Plate umpire Bill Summers is making a report on the bat-throwing to American League Pres. Will Harridge.

Summers said that he couldn’t throw Williams out of the game because he didn’t protest the called third strike.

This Summer, Williams was fined $250 by Pres. Harridge for a “spitting incident” in Kansas City. He has been fined twice before for bat throwing and once by owner Tom Yawkey for another “spitting” session in Fenway Park.

Mrs. Heffernan made light of the incident. At first, she didn’t want to leave the park but she was advised to go through with the X-rays for precautionary reasons.

When Ted first went over to Mrs. Heffernan to offer his regrets, Umpire Summers reported he was nearby. “Ted told her,” Summers revealed, “that he’d do anything for her that has to be done. Mrs. Heffernan told Williams not to worry that she knows he didn’t mean it.”

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