In his last career at bat, Ted Williams hit his 521st home run, quietly rounded the bases, and then disappeared into the dugout. The fans shouted and cheered; they wanted their iconic moment to end with a farewell, be it a tip of the cap or a wave to the crowd.
But that was not Ted Williams. As amazing a baseball player as the Splendid Splinter was, his 21-year career had been filled with conflict with the notorious Boston Media which, by extension, led to some tensions with the fans. Williams did not tip his cap, only returning to the field to take his position in left before being recalled without a pitch being thrown.
It would be forty years before Sox fans received their moment of closure.
As with everything in 1999, the All-Star Game was all about the end of the century. As the best baseball had to offer took the field, they brought with them some of the best the game had ever seen. Stan Musial, Hank Aaron, and Willie Mays all joined the All-Stars on the field that day for a celebration of more than one hundred years of baseball.
But this was Boston, and perhaps no man will ever be able to compare to Ted Williams in Boston.
The man who rode out on the golf cart that night was four decades and two strokes removed from his Hall of Fame career. He could not walk far--thus the golf cart--and had to be pointed in the direction of Carlton Fisk behind home plate for the ceremonial first pitch.
But as he came onto the field that night, with every man, woman, and child giving him a standing ovation much as they had back in 1960, Williams raised his cap and waved, finally taking the curtain call he had earned all those years ago.