Spring Training 1940 Ted Williams Takes The Grapefruit League Literally

Ted Williams Smashes Some Grapefruits

Ted Williams hitting a grapefruit March 6 1949

Ted Williams – grapefruit pulverizer photo Acme: March 2, 1940

We know the Florida spring training circuit is known as the Grapefruit Leauge. But that doesn’t mean that grapefruits are a good substitute for rawhide. So, to explain this photo – were they low on baseballs? Or is this just a silly publicity picture dreamed up by a reporter? I can’t imagine Red Sox slugger Ted Williams accommodating a press photographer with a request.

“Hey Ted will you please hit some grapefruits? It would make a great picture.”

Ummm, no.

Whatever the reason Ted Williams was bashing grapefruits during spring training in 1940.

And to prove it wasn’t just a one grapefruit and that’s it performance – we found this photograph. Boston player-manager Joe Cronin is the citrus supplier.

Ted Williams taking grapefruit practice

2 thoughts on “Spring Training 1940 Ted Williams Takes The Grapefruit League Literally

  1. Ted D.

    Wild! I’ve never seen those before. If I were a grapefruit, I would not want to be anywhere near the young Ted Williams, especially if he was carrying a bat.

    No “B” on their caps–never seen that before, either. Wonder if those were non-game-standard caps and uniforms, worn only in spring training?

  2. Clyde S.

    If this is Spring Training 1940 it is ‘The Kid’s” sophomore year. I think it may predate the eruption of his feud with the ‘Knights of the Keyboard’.


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