Ted Williams is the last major league baseball player to hit over .400. The Boston Red Sox slugger captivated millions with his dazzling swing and towering homers throughout the 1940s and 1950s in competition with New York Yankees hero Joe DiMaggio.
But beneath the happy trots around the bases sat a man consumed with rage. For years, the baseball legend would shun his ethnic heritage and kept his family's past a secret. Only when he'd begin to speak out on behalf of black players would he begin to slowly reveal his connections to his Mexican-American family in California and the experiences that shaped him.
A new PBS "American Masters" documentary, to air on most PBS stations Monday, explores Williams' life using rare footage and family interviews to paint a picture of an entangled figure who hid his past while enjoying the admiration of adoring fans. Williams, often called the "greatest hitter who ever lived," lost prime years because of service in World War II and the Korean War, which also angered him.
While many of Williams' professional accomplishments and personal clashes were widely known, director Nick Davis said few knew about Williams' ethnic background until Ben Bradlee Jr.'s 2013 book, "The Kid: The Immortal Life of Ted Williams." It's a past Williams concealed until near the end of his life, said Bradlee. "He was ashamed."
Springsteen special to air on Netflix
Bruce Springsteen is recording his Broadway show and will release it as a Netflix special Dec. 15, the day of the production's final onstage performance. "Springsteen on Broadway," which has been running at the 948-seat Walter Kerr Theater since October, has been an enormous financial success, grossing $76 million so far. But Broadway isn't the only thing keeping Springsteen busy. On Wednesday, he jumped atop Billy Joel's piano — making it on his second try — to sing a duet with the Piano Man, who was celebrating his 100th concert at Madison Square Garden. Joel told the crowd he had a guest coming who has won a Grammy, Oscar and Tony. Springsteen emerged, surprising the feverish audience members, who cheered "BRUCE." Joel, 69, and Springsteen, 68, hugged after their duet and the Boss kissed Joel on his head as he walked offstage.
for sale: The home featured in the opening and closing scenes of "The Brady Bunch" is for sale for $1.885 million. Records show George and Violet McCallister bought the two-bedroom, three-bathroom split-level home, shown above, in Los Angeles' Studio City in 1973 for $61,000. Real estate agent Ernie Carswell said owners died and their children are selling the property.
Amused: Londoners have been bemused to find a giant statue of a bare-chested Jeff Goldblum next to the city's iconic Tower Bridge. The statue is meant to mark the 25th anniversary of "Jurassic Park."
Acquired: Chance the Rapper said he has purchased the former news website Chicagoist, making the announcement in a song. The Chicago native released four songs on his website, including "I Might Need Security," in which he proclaims, "I bought the Chicagoist." WNYC confirmed the acquisition.
Ailing: CNN's top executive, Jeff Zucker, is undergoing heart surgery and will take a six-week leave of absence from running the news network. The network said Zucker's surgery is elective, to address a condition that he has had for a decade.