Walt Hinriak (seen it spelled different ways), Mike Easler, and a few others may have
been more renown as hitting coaches, but since we are combining talents, Ted Williams was, at least, someone who could
blast the strings out of the ball on a consistent basis. Hinriak was a Lau disciple, so he wouldn't bring much to the
talent combo. My recollection was that teaching his players how to hit better was Williams' one area of competence as
a manager during his four year tenure from '69-'72. Furthermore, Williams made himself a hitting guru when his theories of
hitting were published in a famous Sports Illustrated article.
Teddy Ballgame The Manager did improve the Senators' hitting his first year by .086
O+S. That was an expansion year with strike zone and mound height changes, but without any significant personnel changes in
the line-up, they went from below average to above average as hitters.
1968 Washington Senators team OBA+SlgA = .620
League average O+S = .636
1969 Senators under Ted Williams OBA+SlgA= ..706
League average O+S = .690
In 1970, the Senators fell back below average .676 to .701, but looking at their team
in '68 and '69, you find only three players who you would characterize as good hitters. Two of them experienced
career years in 1969: Frank Howard and Mike Epstein. Howard continued his excellence for another season. The other Ken McMullen
was traded early in 1970 for Rick Reichardt and Aurelio Rodriguez. Both of those players had their best season in
1970 under Williams. Reichardt was 27, but Rodriguez was only 22. Both were traded again the following season for pitching.
As the Senators continued to trade the players Williams developed
as a hitter for pitchers who didn't pitch well (Denny McLain and Jerry Janeski), and their one star (Howard) now in rapid
decline, of course, the Senators had below average O+S again in 1971: .626 to .681.
In 1972 the Senators abandoned Washington and became the Texas Rangers. The team lost
100 games in a 154 game strike shortened schedule. Frank Howard was now little feared at all. Perhaps, the players stunk,
but no doubt this team lacked any heart and Williams probably deserved some blame for that. 1972 was sort of a 60s flashback
pitching dominant season. I'm not sure what effect their first park had, but the league average O+S was .650, while the Rangers
hit only .578.
Looking at specific individuals, you can see overall Williams did a respectable job with his hitters. The only counter-examples
of players who played during their prime for Williams and hit better under someone else are Del Unser and Larry
Biitner. Yet, besides Howard, Rodriguez, and Reichardt, Paul Casanova, Mike Epstein, Ed Brinkman, Hank Allen, Ed Stroud, Bernie
Allen, Tim Cullen, Dick Billings, Dave Nelson, and Ted Ford each had their best season as a hitter under Williams.