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Baseball Legend Ted Williams Dies - 2002-07-05

Baseball Hall of Famer Ted Williams, the last player to hit .400 in the U.S. Major Leagues, has died at age 83 at a hospital in Florida. Ted Williams had suffered a series of strokes and congestive heart failure in recent years. Officials at Florida's Citrus County Memorial Hospital said he was pronounced dead there Friday morning.

A two-time Most Valuable Player with the Boston Red Sox, Williams had a lifetime batting average of .344 with 521 home runs. Nicknamed "The Splendid Splinter", his greatest season was in 1941 when he hit .406 and got six hits in a double header on the final day of the season.

He also lost some of the prime years of his career, while serving as a pilot in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II and again during the Korean War.

Williams said during his induction to baseball's Hall of Fame in 1966 that he knew he was fortunate to do something he loved so much. "I know how lucky I was to have been born in America and have the chance to play the game I loved," he said. "The greatest game of them all - baseball."

Ted Williams hit a home run at Fenway Park in his final major league at-bat in 1960. He later managed the Washington Senators team and the Texas Rangers. Later in life, he suffered strokes and had a pacemaker inserted in November 2000 and underwent open heart surgery in January 2001.

Williams said he always wanted to be remembered as one of baseball's greatest hitters, something that few people would dispute.