CRYSTAL RIVER, Fla. (AP) - Ted Williams, the Boston Red Sox revered and sometimes reviled "Splendid Splinter" and baseball's last .400 hitter, died Friday at age 83.
Williams, who suffered a series of strokes and congestive heart failure in recent years, was taken Friday to Citrus County Memorial Hospital in Inverness where he was pronounced dead of cardiac arrest at 8:49 a.m., said hospital spokeswoman Rebecca Martin.
He underwent open-heart surgery in January 2001 and had a pacemaker inserted in November 2000.
"With the passing of Ted Williams, America has lost a baseball legend," said President Bush ( news - web sites), a former baseball owner. "Whether serving the country in the armed forces or excelling on the baseball diamond, Ted Williams demonstrated unique talent and love of country.
"He inspired young ballplayers across the nation for decades and we will always remember his persistence on the field and his courage off the field. Ted gave baseball some of its best seasons — and he gave his own best seasons to his country. He will be greatly missed."
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