• The Kid

  • The Immortal Life of Ted Williams
  • By: Ben Bradlee Jr.
  • Narrated by: Dave Mallow
  • Length: 35 hrs and 14 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (164 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $30.79

Buy for $30.79

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

At long last, the epic biography Ted Williams deserves - and that his fans have been waiting for.

Williams was the best hitter in baseball history. His batting average of .406 in 1941 has not been topped since, and no player who has hit more than 500 home runs has a higher career batting average. Those totals would have been even higher if Williams had not left baseball for nearly five years in the prime of his career to serve as a Marine pilot in WWII and Korea. He hit home runs farther than any player before him - and traveled a long way himself, as Ben Bradlee, Jr.'s grand biography reveals.

Born in 1918 in San Diego, Ted would spend most of his life disguising his Mexican heritage. During his 22 years with the Boston Red Sox, Williams electrified crowds across America - and shocked them, too: His notorious clashes with the press and fans threatened his reputation. Yet while he was a God in the batter's box, he was profoundly human once he stepped away from the plate. His ferocity came to define his troubled domestic life. While baseball might have been straightforward for Ted Williams, life was not.

The Kid is biography of the highest literary order, a thrilling and honest account of a legend in all his glory and human complexity. In his final at-bat, Williams hit a home run. Bradlee's marvelous book clears the fences, too.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2013 Ben Bradlee Jr. (P)2013 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Bradlee's sumptuous biography details an extraordinary American life while showing us how that life morphed into legend. The Kid reads like an epic, starting before Williams's birth in 1918, outlining his Anglo and Mexican heritage growing up in Southern California, and continuing after his death in 2002 to the present. Bradlee has given us the fullest exploration yet of his monumental ego and the best explanation for his vast inferiority complex....The book is packed with great moments." ( Boston Globe)
"What distinguishes Bradlee's The Kid from the rest of Williams lit is, its size and the depth of its reporting. Bradlee seemingly talked to everyone, not just baseball people but Williams's fishing buddies, old girlfriends, his two surviving wives and both of his daughters, and he had unparalleled access to Williams family archives. His account does not materially alter our picture of Williams the player, but fills it in with much greater detail and nuance....Bradlee's expansiveness enables his book to transcend the familiar limits of the sports bio and to become instead a hard-to-put-down account of a fascinating American life. It's a story about athletic greatness but also about the perils of fame and celebrity, the corrosiveness of money and the way the cycle of familial resentment and disappointment plays itself out generation after generation." ( New York Times Book Review)
"Superb....Ted Williams hated what he considered invasions of his privacy, but perfectionist that he was, he would probably have to concede that the work ethic that underpins The Kid is exemplary. Mr. Bradlee, who was a reporter and editor at the Boston Globe for 25 years, spent 10 years researching and writing this book; he interviewed about 600 people and seems to have read everything about and by Williams. But research alone doesn't make The Kid a first-rate biography. The author was able to organize the great mass of data into a lucid and readable whole and-most important-bring his subject and the people around him to provocative and stormy life. When I began reading this book, I thought that only baseball fans would find it interesting. But after finishing The Kid, I suspect that even those indifferent to the sport might find its human drama absorbing." ( Time)

What listeners say about The Kid

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    113
  • 4 Stars
    34
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    103
  • 4 Stars
    31
  • 3 Stars
    8
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    97
  • 4 Stars
    30
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

TED WILLIAMS

There is a whiff of guilt in spending 35 hours listening to Ted Williams’ life story. It is the same guilt one feels when watching a sport’s event, going to a movie, seeing a theater production, or visiting a museum. But, when good stories are well written, actors fully engaged and human interest stimulated, a viewer/listener’s time is pleasurably (if not) well spent. Ben Bradlee, Jr’s writing, Dave Mallow’s narration, and Ted Williams’ life story are near perfectly executed, thoughtfully engaging, and revelatory.

Ben Bradlee’s experience, as writer and editor of the Boston Globe, perfects the story of “The Kid”, the biography of baseball’s last full season “.400 plus” batting average player. Some say Williams is the best hitter ever to play. Dave Mallows narration sounds like a sports caster’s reflection on the mercurial personality of a baseball legend. The complexity of human nature is amplified in revelatory facts about a talented kid growing to manhood.

In the end, Bradlee’s adoration of Williams is uncloaked. Bradlee shows the generous nature of a complicated superstar, a human being that at once makes cold calculations about insults from the press while hiding personal contributions of time and money to childhood charities. Bradlee tells the story of a baseball player that rarely questions an umpire’s call; makes friends with working people rather than the rich and famous, and risks his life for his country in two wars when safer alternatives are available. “The Kid” is a pleasure to lovers of the game and to audio book listeners.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Engrossing

Would you listen to The Kid again? Why?

Having heard about the focus and determination of "the kid" in the book, "The Genius In All Of Us", I was intrigued. I am not a baseball fan, but found this book presented a hardworking, but damaged, youth and how that life with its sad beginning and tragic family manipulation played out publicly through the game of baseball and fame.

What did you like best about this story?

The well detailed history and research of a fascinating life.

What does Dave Mallow bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

There are so many details in this long story that I do not believe I would have stuck with the book. But having it read to me by such a competent performer made it compelling and memorable.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Ted was just a human being.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The story of a great ball player and flawed man

When this book came out I was excited as a Red Sox fan and a history buff. I was not disappointed. Long, rich story of a man whose life bridged many of historical milestones of the last century. I would highly recommend.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Well written account of a very profane man

Williams is such a disgusting person, that I put this book down twice only to pick it up again and again several months later. This is a well written book and the narration was good. However, the subject of the book is an absolute pig. Bradlee showed Williams to be a great ball player but also as a wayward husband, a thin skinned malcontent, a vulgar person, a me- first player in a team game, and a disrespectful diva. Williams is noted to have been kind hearted to children and one who frequently helped others, it's hard to imagine how he functioned outside a locker room. All in all, he seemed like a one dimensional jerk.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Beyond the Diamond

A friend of mine suggested that I should read about the legendary baseball player, Ted Williams. I'm not into the sport at all and reading about athletes or celebrities doesn't interest me. I'm not a media hound and can careless about stats, but reading about "The Kid" immediately caught my interest. I managed to finish the book in six days, while my friend has been pacing along for four months. Of course I'm getting the information in audio, but that is still over 35 hours of listening and paying attention.

Ted Williams could be the most interesting man in the world besides being the best player in baseball. I pretty much fell asleep when Ben Bradlee Jr. laid out his baseball career and stats, but I was so interested in his life. Like how he fought in two wars and became a pilot in the Korean War. He was a very generous to strangers, charities, and especially kids with Cancer and forming the Jimmy Fund, but he was a bastard with his wives and children.

His behavior is not uncommon with superstars even today. They treat strangers better than their own family, maybe it's a sense of pride or being in the public, but Ted Williams was a modest man when he gave so much to others in need.

The death of Ted Williams is a weird story. Unlike his wishes, the family decided to freeze his head in a cryogenics lab. He is frozen in time and maybe the Kid will be back and will be teaching on how to play ball. Maybe we will see him on a phone application and his mind will still be coaching.

At the end of his life, I couldn't help feeling sorry for the guy. His estate was ruin by his son, John Henry, which later died from leukemia. John Henry took advantage of his father's wealth and fame and tarnish his name, but like the great baseball player that his father once was, many fans will always see Ted Williams as "Splendid Splinter."

I highly recommend this book, even for those who doesn't like baseball like myself.

As another season of MLB just started, I wished that I was more involved with the sport, but I never had any interest in sitting through nine innings or keeping stats on my favorite player. I didn't even collect baseball cards when I was a kid, but I'm really glad that I read about Ted Williams way beyond the diamond.

There is one major flaw in the audiobook. If you decide to download this book from Audible, you can't download the pdf companion. I've contacted Audible and Hachette Audio and they haven't resolved this issue yet. The audiobook does not reference back to the pdf file, but it would been nice to see what was missing.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

CWilk

This book was disappointing in the fact that it shed glaring light on what a brutally flawed person that Ted Williams was. The book changed my opinion of Ted Willams, the man, drastically. It got to a point of being hard to continue listening because of the redundant and increasingly vile descriptions of how he treated people, especially women, including his own family. Was he the greatest hitter of all time, probably so, but that does not excuse the terrible human being that he was while doing it. I’m glad that I listened to the book but I’m disappointed in how it crushed my opinion of Ted.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

the kid

Now this is a little bit long-winded. The author obviously knows a lot about the subject has done plenty of research but at some points goes into a little bit too much detail. it shows the story of a man that my father admired in not a very good light.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I never knew

This book drew an excellent picture of a gifted but flawed ball player. I remember seeing him play as a nine year old. It’s a shame the way his life and beyond ended. He was one of the best baseball players but his life life was tragic.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A great listen about an amazing man

One of the best books I've ever had the pleasure of listening too. Ted Williams is one of my heros and my favorite baseball player of all time and this book goes into great depth into his life. Well worth the time commitment.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Best on Teddy Ballgame that I have read.

Excellent comprehensive coverage from the beginning through the Cryonics stuff. Clear efforts made to not be biased and noting both praise and issues with Williams.