Today in Sports History: June 17

In 1960, former professional baseball player, Ted Williams, hit his 500th career home run. 

Williams played baseball for 19 years as a left fielder for the Boston Red Sox (1939-60). His career was interrupted by having to serve in World War II and the Korean War. He was known to be one of the greatest hitters in baseball history. 

He was a 19-time All-Star, 6-time AL Batting Champion, two-time AL MVP, and two-time Triple Crown winner. He ended his career with a .344 batting average, a .482 on-base percentage, which is the highest of all time, and a total of 521 home runs. 

Once Williams retired in 1960, he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966 within his first year of eligibility. Williams came out of retirement to become the Washington Senators/Texas Rangers manager in 1969. Through managing four seasons, Williams’s record was 273 wins, 364 loses, and 0 ties. His win-to-loss percentage was an average of .429 percent. 

Later throughout his career, he officially retired as manager and for good from baseball after the 1972 season. Years later, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award given by the United States government, in 1991 by President George H.W. Bush. He was also named to the Major League Baseball All-Time Team in 1997 and the Major League Baseball All-Century Team in 1999.

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