Ted Williams Condition Said Fair

Sunday, November 5th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Ted Williams was hospitalized in fair condition Saturday, reportedly with congestive heart failure.

But, in an interview published in Sunday's editions of The Boston Globe, the 82-year-old Hall of Famer said he couldn't understand what all the fuss was about .

``I'm pretty good,'' Williams told the newspaper from his room at the University of Florida's Shands Hospital. ``I don't know where everybody's getting the news that I'm at death's door.''

The Boston Globe reported Saturday that the former Boston Red Sox slugger was admitted Monday with congestive heart failure. Hospital spokeswoman Mary Bechtel confirmed the report Saturday, but declined to provide additional information at the request of Williams' family.

The newspaper said that Williams' care is being supervised by cardiologist Rick Kerensky, and other cardiac specialists have also been consulted. Doctors are strongly considering implanting a pacemaker to control his heart rate, and a decision is expected early this week.

``I really don't need it,'' Williams said. ``But I'll do whatever they want me to do.''

Williams told the newspaper he is resting comfortably, with family and friends by his side, at the medical center which is about an hour from his home in Hernando.

``I'm not in any pain,'' Williams said. ``I've got my son and my daughter here and my future in-laws. I just ate a hamburger.''

Williams also said he is looking forward to voting in Tuesday's presidential elections.

``Who do you think is going to win?'' Williams asked. ``I'm going to vote, don't you worry about that. It's the most important thing going on in the world right now.''

Red Sox general manager Dan Duquette said the team is following Williams' condition closely and has been in contact with the hospital. Williams spent all of his 19 years in the majors with the Red Sox.

``We're hopeful he has a speedy recovery,'' Duquette said. ``We've invited him to spring training and we're hopeful he can participate in the 100th anniversary of the Red Sox.''

Williams had two strokes in the 1990s, the last one in 1994. His vision was considerably impaired by the strokes and he has had an increased heart rate and high blood pressure in recent years. He had difficulty breathing three months ago and was treated at the same hospital.

Considered by many to be one of the game's greatest hitters, Williams was the last major leaguer to hit .400. He batted .406 in 1941.

He appeared at Fenway Park in the summer of 1999 when he threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the All-Star Game.