Ted Williams, the Boston Red Sox revered and sometimes reviled "Splendid Splinter" and baseball's last .400 hitter, has died at age 83.
Williams, who suffered a series of strokes and congestive heart failure in recent years, was taken Friday to Citrus County Memorial Hospital "where he was pronounced deceased," said sheriff's department spokesman Lt. Joe Eckstein.
He underwent open-heart surgery in January 2001 and had a pacemaker inserted in November 2000.
The Hall of Famer always wanted to be known as the greatest hitter ever, and his stats backed up the claim.
A two-time MVP who twice won the Triple Crown, Williams hit .344 lifetime with 521 home runs — despite twice interrupting his career to serve as a Marine Corps pilot in World War II and the Korean War.
He had 145 RBIs as a Red Sox rookie in 1939 and closed out his career — fittingly — by hitting a home run at Fenway Park in his final major league at-bat in 1960.
Williams' greatest achievement came in 1941 when he batted .406, getting six hits in a doubleheader on the final day of the season.
Williams contended his eyesight was so keen he could pick up individual stitches on a pitched ball and could see the exact moment his bat connected with it.
He also asserted he could smell the burning wood of his bat when he fouled a ball straight back, just missing solid contact.
Highlights of Ted Williams' Career
Career record as manager: 273 victories and 364 losses, a .429 mark.