Month Day
September 28

Ted Williams hits home run in last major league at-bat

On September 28, 1960, at Boston’s Fenway Park, Red Sox star Ted Williams hits a home run in the last at-bat of his 21-year career.

Ted Williams once said it was his goal in life to “walk down the street [and have] folks say ‘there goes the greatest hitter who ever lived.’” He succeeded. Williams led the American League in batting average six times, home runs four times and runs batted in four times. He was one of only two men ever to win baseball’s Triple Crown twice, leading the league in home runs, runs batted in and batting average in 1942 and again in 1947. Perhaps most impressively, however, he hit .406 in 1941–he was the last man ever to hit .400. He accomplished more than that, missing three seasons to fly combat missions in the Navy during World War II and parts of two more as a Marine during the Korean War, again to fly, this time with John Glenn as his wingman. Williams would later mold himself into a world-class fly fisherman, widely respected and accomplished with the reel.

In spite of his brilliance at the plate, Williams had a tempestuous relationship with Red Sox fans and the media; to his frustration, his every move, both on and off the field, was reported in the newspapers. After being booed by the Fenway faithful early in his career, he swore never to tip his cap to the Boston fans again. In spite of the many spectacular home runs and clutch hits in his career, he never did.

After he hit .254 with a bad back in 1959, Red Sox management urged Williams to retire. Too proud to hang it up after a less-than-stellar season, he returned in 1960 at 42 years old and hit .316 for the year with 29 home runs. In the eighth inning of his final game at Fenway, played in front of a nearly empty house, Williams pulled a 1-1 pitch from Baltimore Oriole Jack Fisher into the Boston bullpen. After rounding the bases, he once again stubbornly refused to take off his hat to acknowledge his cheering fans.

John Updike memorialized Williams’ career by telling the story of his last at-bat in the short story “Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu,” published October 22, 1960 in The New Yorker.

FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate.


William the Conqueror invades England

Claiming his right to the English throne, William, duke of Normandy, invades England at Pevensey on Britain’s southeast coast. His subsequent defeat of King Harold II at the Battle of Hastings marked the beginning of a new era in British history. William was the illegitimate son more

Penicillin discovered

Sir Alexander Fleming was a young bacteriologist when an accidental discovery led to one of the great developments of modern medicine on September 28, 1928. Having left a plate of staphylococcus bacteria uncovered, Fleming noticed that a mold that had fallen on the culture had more

Pompey the Great assassinated

Upon landing in Egypt, Roman general and politician Pompey is murdered on the orders of King Ptolemy of Egypt. During his long career, Pompey the Great displayed exceptional military talents on the battlefield. He fought in Africa and Spain, quelled the slave revolt of Spartacus, more

Ted Williams becomes last player to hit .400

On September 28, 1941, the Boston Red Sox’s Ted Williams plays a double-header against the Philadelphia Athletics on the last day of the regular season and gets six hits in eight trips to the plate, to boost his batting average to .406 and become the first player since Bill Terry more

A cult leader kills one of his followers

Roch Theriault fatally wounds Solange Boislard in Ontario, Canada. Theriault, the leader of the most bizarre and violent cult in Canadian history, often physically abused his followers. Obsessed with anatomy and medicine, Theriault performed crude intestinal surgery on Boislard more

Battle of Yorktown begins

On September 28, 1781, General George Washington, commanding a force of 17,000 French and Continental troops, begins the siege known as the Battle of Yorktown against British General Lord Charles Cornwallis and a contingent of 9,000 British troops at Yorktown, Virginia, in the more