Thursday, May 8, 2014

Ted Williams: Game Violator

Most fans and collectors know that Ted Williams was an avid outdoorsman. Each year when the Red Sox season was over he'd head for the woods and waters to hunt and fish. Some years he'd stage a "holdout" to avoid spring training and give himself a few more weeks to indulge his inner nimrod.

His affinity for hunting and fishing is borne out by a handful of the cards in the 1959 Fleer Ted Williams 80-card set.

In retirement Williams affiliated with Sears to put his name and picture on a wide range of hunting, fishing, camping and outdoors equipment. 

Thus I was surprised to read in the Sept. 26, 1940, issue of The Sporting News that on at least one occasion Williams had been nabbed as a game violator. 

In his "Fanning with Fannington" column in TSN, St. Louis Times sports writer Dick Fannington reported that in the fall of 1939, the Red Sox rookie had lost his Minnesota hunting license -- and "his prize shotgun" for shooting ducks after hours at Red Wing, Minn.

A quick Google follow-up revealed that Williams pled guilty in Red Wing Municipal Court on Nov. 6 to hunting after the posted 4 p.m. closing time. He was fined $15 and forfeited a shotgun valued at $30. A cursory search did not include mention of loss of his hunting license.

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