Sad news today, as Dick Williams, who managed the “Impossible Dream” 1967 Red Sox at the start of his career, has died. He was 82.
Williams had a decent playing career, bouncing between the outfield, third base and first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Cleveland Indians, Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City A’s and the Sox for 13 seasons.
But he made his name as a manger, and he earned the reputation of a tough-nosed dugout leader early. He whipped the Sox into shape and got them into the World Series for the first time in 21 years that first season. Later, he’d take the captaincy away from Carl Yastrzemski, and things got tense enough that he was let go with just nine games left in 1969.
But he wasn’t done. For the most part, wherever he went, he won. He won two World Series with the Oakland A’s in the 1970s, he took the Montreal Expos to their only playoff appearance in 1981, and in ’84, he helped the San Diego Padres win their first National League pennant.
He was rewarded for all this, finally, in 2008, when he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. On his plaque, he’s wearing an A’s cap.