On this day in 1943: In a war-benefit exhibition game at Yankee Stadium, Babe Ruth and Ted Williams meet in uniform for the second and last time during their careers.
Ruth, 48 and long retired, manages and pinch-hits for a team of New York Yankees and Cleveland Indians. Williams, 24, plays for the North Carolina Pre-Flight Cloudbusters, made up of major leaguers undergoing training at Marine pre-flight school in Chapel Hill.
“In the late 1940s, when the Red Sox were in Washington to play the Senators, Williams received a telegram from a doctor in North Carolina who was attending a dying boy. The doctor said the boy talked about him constantly and wondered if Williams could send him an autographed ball to give him a lift. Ted flew down [to Raleigh] to deliver the ball in person and returned to Washington that night.”
— From “The Kid: The Immortal Life of Ted Williams” by Ben Bradlee Jr. (2013)
According to Bradlee, the often-cantankerous Williams made at least three such long-distance deliveries, always avoiding publicity about his generosity.
John Blythe has detailed Williams’ earlier stay in Chapel Hill for Pre-Flight School.