The Red Sox have had their share of superstars over the years, but it's possible that none of them compare to Ted Williams. The Splendid Splinter finished his career with 125 WAR over 19 seasons, despite missing time to join the war efforts in World War II and the war in Korea. In a career full of memorable moments, Williams himself admitted that his walk-off home run in the 1941 All-Star game, "remains to this day the most thrilling hit of my life."
The 1941 season was the one where Williams hit .406/.553/.735, the kind of line that, in today's game, looks like it has typos in it. It was the second year with an All-Star appearance for Ted, out of 17 years in his career when he would earn those honors. In his 19 years, just once did his OPS fall below 1000. He hit 521 homers, had 2,654 hits, and reached base via walk or hit 4,675 times. All of that sounds impressive, and it earned him a career line of .344/.482/.634 -- that just goes to show you how incredible his 1941 campaign was.
Williams came to the plate with the American League down 5-4 in the ninth inning, following a Joe DiMaggio grounded that scored a run on a botched double play attempt by the defense, with runners at the corners. He had already doubled to drive in a run earlier, and this time around, he took a 2-1 pitch from National League hurler Clause Passeau and drove it into the stands in right field for a walk-off home run and AL victory.
It may be tough to believe this is the finest moment in Williams' career, but hey, he was there, and we weren't, and unlike some present-day Red Sox, his playoff games didn't have the same kind of happy endings. Don't feel like Sox fans were cheated, though, as they were able to see one of the greatest hitters of all-time do what he could do for 19 glorious and memorable seasons.