Blackhawks

How you can buy Ted Williams memorabilia

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How you can buy Ted Williams memorabilia

From Comcast SportsNetBOSTON (AP) -- He was a skilled fisherman, a veteran of two wars and an accomplished hunter. Oh, and Ted Williams also played baseball.Fans seeking to buy items once owned by the legendary Red Sox slugger will flock to Boston's Fenway Park beginning Wednesday for a preview of the first major auction of sports, military and personal memorabilia documenting Williams' life.The preview, open to the public, is set to last through Friday at the world's oldest baseball park and home field of the only team that Williams played for during his 1939-1960 major league career. The auction will be Saturday and some of the proceeds will benefit The Jimmy Fund, a charity affiliated with Boston's Dana-Farber Cancer Institute for which the slugger helped raise money during his lifetime.Williams, the last major league hitter to bat .400 -- posting a .406 average in 1941 -- enjoyed a diverse life, including as a U.S. Marine in World War II and the Korean War, a member of the fishing hall of fame and a skilled and accomplished hunter. He flew 39 combat missions in Korea and took enemy fire three times, including during an encounter that forced him to land his stricken jet on its belly."There're not many elements of his life that did not exude the same excellence as he did on the baseball field," said David Hunt, whose firm, Hunt Auctions Inc., is selling the memorabilia on behalf of Williams' daughter, Claudia Williams of Hernando, Fla. "And that is really unique ... He's sort of like the John Wayne of baseball and sports of that time period and I think that's evidenced by all these artifacts that documents his life."Among the nearly 800 items up for auction is a baseball in pristine condition that Babe Ruth autographed for Williams with the inscription "To my pal Ted Williams, From Babe Ruth." That unique ball is expected to go for between 100,000 and 200,000, Hunt said.The ball, which was stolen from the family's Florida home in the 1970s and not recovered until 2005, had a special place in Ted Williams' heart, his daughter said."Of course, the one item in the sale which meant so much to him as a baseball fan was the personalized baseball given to him by Babe Ruth," Claudia Williams said in an email to The Associated Press. "It influenced his personalizations to so many kids in the future, as he always loved the way Mr. Ruth signed the ball, Your pal.'"Others items include Williams' 1949 American League Most Valuable Player award valued between 150,000 and 250,000, a silver bat for winning the American League batting championship in 1957 valued between 100,000 and 200,000, as well as bats and jerseys that the slugger used, Hunt said as workers unpacked the memorabilia for display at a luxury suite at Fenway Park."These objects really just chronicle this man's life and, I think, show how great he was, not just as a baseball player," Hunt said.Claudia Williams says her dad's intent was always to auction the items for charity."I'm rather certain, in his last year with the Red Sox, he earned less than 100,000," she said. "So, my dad was always amazed at the sale prices garnered from sales of sports memorabilia."It is dearly important to me to include The Jimmy Fund in this event as it was at the center of my father's heart for so many years."Hunt said the auction caps a process that began nearly six years ago when his firm did some appraisals for her.Williams' daughter, Hunt said, had discussed selling some of the items with her father and brother, who both supported the idea. That occurred before Williams died in 2002, followed by his son in 2004.The 10-year anniversary of Williams' death at age 83 and Fenway Park's ongoing 100th anniversary celebrations provided an ideal timing for the auction, Hunt said."Claudia kept things that are important to her, donated things to museums ... Why not do this in celebration of his life, benefit the charity that he loved and make it a positive thing for everybody," Hunt said.Claudia Williams said: "I am incredibly proud of my father. My father lived a wonderful life, and did all he could for his fans, his country, and his family."

Brian Campbell on Adam Boqvist's progression and preaching patience in his development

Brian Campbell on Adam Boqvist's progression and preaching patience in his development

The breakout star of Blackhawks development camp in July was undoubtedly Adam Boqvist, who was taken No. 8 overall in 2018. It was evident how much his game has grown over the past year.

Former Blackhawks defenseman — and now player development coach — Brian Campbell worked closely with Boqvist this past season and raved about the steps he took with the London Knights in the OHL. But Campbell is also preaching patience in Boqvist's development. Boqvist just turned 19 on Thursday, and it's important to let him develop at his own pace.

“Yeah, I was impressed," Campbell said in an interview with NBC Sports Chicago. "Obviously, he’s come a long way in a year from last development camp. There’s no pressure being put on him. He’ll develop at his time. If he pushes for a spot, great, but I just don’t want people to get away. There’s a lot to keep learning and he wants to learn, which is the greatest thing. His teammates love him: great thing. He wants to do extra and learn the game: great thing. He is preparing himself days before, even in development camp, he’s preparing himself days before. So all great things and he’s on the right path.

"Hopefully that happens and maybe it does happen but if it doesn’t then that’s not the case and he keeps getting better and wants to keep getting better. Definitely, we know his skill level is there and I think he’s taken a huge step in the last year in preparing himself and knowing how to prepare as a pro player now. There’s a lot of great things there, and hopefully he does do that, but for me, I just don’t want to put too much on him right now. He’s turning 19 soon so he’s still a really young kid and it’s a tough position to play at a pro level. Believe me, I’m smiling, but I just don’t want to force the issue too much. Hopefully he can do some great things, but if he doesn’t, then that’s OK too.” 

With Cubs reeling, Jon Lester comes up big and plays stopper

With Cubs reeling, Jon Lester comes up big and plays stopper

The last three games have been more than forgettable for the Cubs.

From Wednesday’s 11-1 drubbing at the hands of the Phillies to back-to-back walk-off losses on Thursday and Friday, the Cubs’ current road trip has looked much like those that preceded it. At various times, the offense has scuffled, the rotation has pitched a clunker and the bullpen has cracked.

The solution to the latest road trip woes? Give the ball to Jon Lester and get the hell out of the way.

Lester —  who pitched a clunker himself Aug. 6 against the A’s — did what the Cubs have become so accustomed to see him do over the past four seasons. The 35-year-old tossed 6+ shutout innings, allowing just four hits, leading the Cubs to a 2-0 win.

Lester had no room for error on Saturday, as the Cubs offense went hitless for the first 4 1/3 innings. While the Cubs bats were asleep, the Pirates threatened to break the game on open multiple times, loading the bases with one out (first inning), no outs (fifth) and getting runners on first and second with no outs in the sixth.

The latter two of those instances were assisted by errors by third baseman Kris Bryant, but that’s neither here nor there. Point being, with how the Cubs looked offensively, any Pirates runs could have proved critical on Saturday. Instead, Lester worked out of every jam, stymying the Pirates bats to an 0-for-12 line with RISP.

Winning Saturday’s game was obviously important for the Cubs, as it puts them a game ahead of the Cardinals in the win column (pending the outcome of St. Louis' game against the Reds later Saturday). But it was equally important for Lester, who called himself the “weakest link” in the Cubs starting rotation after that tough outing against the A’s.

The beautiful thing about baseball is that the regular season is 162 games long. Each day presents teams with a new slate, a chance to forget about what happened in the previous game and move forward.  If Saturday’s start shows anything, it’s that Lester and the Cubs are more than capable of putting a tough game in the rearview mirror and keep moving forward.

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