Meaning of, "Baseball is the only field of endeavor where a man can succeed three times out of ten and be considered a good performer," Ted Williams.I need help understanding this quote.  Thank you!

1 Answer | Add Yours

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

What Ted Williams is talking about here is a baseball statistic called batting average.  For a long time, batting average was seen as the best way to decide if someone was a good hitter.

A player's batting average is determined by taking the number of hits they get (in a season or a career) and dividing it by the number of at bats they get.  If a person gets 3 hits in 10 at bats, their batting average is .300.  This is considered to be a very good average.  Ted Williams was the last player to hit better than .400 for a whole season and that was in 1941.

What Williams was saying in this quote is that baseball is an inherently difficult or even frustrating sport.  A batter who fails 7 times out of 10 is a good batter.  Imagine if you failed 7 of 10 classes in school.  Or imagine if a doctor failed to cure 7 of 10 patients who came to them.

So this is a statement about how difficult and frustrating baseball is, at least from the perspective of a hitter.

We’ve answered 318,916 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question