Thursday, July 7, 2011

1967 Topps Boston Red Sox Dick Williams #161

Today's entry from my 1967 Topps Autographed Baseball card set is about a former manager of the Boston Red Sox, Oakland A's, Angels, San Diego Padres, Montreal Expos and Seattle Mariners and sadly he passed away today, July 7, 2011 at age 82. It is Dick Williams, manager of the Boston Red Sox. Card number 161 in the 1967 Topps Baseball card set of 609 cards.

This card was obtained through a dealer on ebay. It is one of 542 different autographs I have accumulated over the past 3 years.

Dick Williams played in the major leagues for 13 seasons from 1951 to 1964 and appeared in 1023 games for 5 different teams as an infielder/outfielder. His career statistics include a .262 batting average, 70 home runs and 331 runs batted in.

Dick Williams' managerial career began in grand fashion with the Boston Red Sox in 1967. During that season, known as the Impossible Dream season, the Red Sox who were coming off 8 straight losing campaigns, put together a young team of future stars and surprised everyone by winning the American League Pennant. They made their first World Series appearance since the 1946 season. Playing well in the 1967 World Series, the Red Sox played the St. Louis Cardinals to the brink, but came up short in the seventh and deciding game, getting beat by future Hall of Famer Bob Gibson.

Williams managed the Boston Red Sox for two more seasons, but he was fired with 9 games left in the 1969 season. After that, Dick Williams was hired by the Oakland A's in 1971 and led the very talent Athletics teams to consecutive World Series Championships in 1972 and 1973. He resigned after the 1973 season due to a conflict with controversial owner Charlie Finley. He also managed the California Angels and Montreal Expos before getting the job of skipper of the San Diego Padres in 1982. Dick Williams led the Padres from perpetual losers to Pennant Winners during the 1984 seasons. The Padres made their first of only two World Series appearances in their 42 seasons in 1984, losing to eventual winner, Detroit Tigers in five games. Williams managed the Padres for one more season before being let go prior to the start of the 1986 campaign. His last managerial position was with the Seattle Mariners from 1986 to 1988. During his 21 years as a major league manager, Williams won 1,571 games while losing 1,451.

Dick Williams was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2008.

To learn more about Dick Williams' career, go to his biography at
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