Dick Williams was able to grind out a thirteen-year career with five teams as a player. It was his knowledge of the game that led the Boston Red Sox to offer him the reigns of the team in 1967 at the young age of 38, just three years after playing his final game with those same Sox. He immediately made a splash, leading Boston to its first pennant since 1946. A rough relationship with Sox owner Tom Yawkey meant that just two years after coming within a game of winning the World Series, his tenure with the Sox was over. He would join the Oakland Athletics in 1971 and won the World Series with them in 1972 and 1973. Again, success did not translate into job security as the combative manager found himself looking for a new team at the start of the 1974 season, which he eventually found with the California Angels. By 1977 he was leading the Montreal Expos to their first era of respectability, though he never managed to reach the postseason while north of the border. He would win one last pennant in 1984 with the San Diego Padres, losing the World Series to the Detroit Tigers. He would finish his career with the Seattle Mariners, managing his final game in 1988.
Williams was cremated and his ashes were spread by his family on Doubleday Field in Cooperstown, where he had managed both The Knucksies and The Wizards in the annual Hall of Fame Classic just weeks before his death in 2011.
April 11, 2014