At this time last year, Ted Williams — not the legendary slugger but the man with the golden voice — was homeless and bumming money on the streets of Columbus, Ohio.
This week, his signature, baritone pipes officially debuted on New England Cable News as he became the voice of the regional network and its 9 p.m. newscast.
“What another blessing that God has bestowed upon me in the year 2011,” Williams said last night while waiting for his mother at a Brooklyn, N.Y., restaurant. “A year ago today, I was homeless and toothless and everything else-less.”
Williams, 54, rocketed to fame in January after a Columbus newspaper reporter videotaped the panhandler delivering his marquee voice-overs as he held a cardboard sign that read: “I’m an ex-radio announcer who has fallen on hard times.”
The clip became a web sensation and made Williams an overnight hit who was suddenly appearing on national TV shows, delivering the opening of the “Today” show and fielding job offers.
But it was too much too soon.
Williams said he was mismanaged. He also ended up in rehab. Yesterday, the upbeat announcer said he’s been sober since May 4.
Williams was in the Hub this week to appear on NECN to tout his new gig. Staffers surprised him with a No. 9 Red Sox [team stats] jersey of the Hall of Famer who bears the same name.
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