Wednesday, September 25, 2013

1977 Topps Baseball #647 - Montreal Expos / Dick Williams

  • Dick Williams started his playing career in the Brooklyn Dodgers organization in 1947. Williams got his first call to the majors in 1951. During the next five seasons Williams split time between the Dodgers and the minor leagues. Dick wasn't going to crack the talented Dodgers' lineup so he was traded to the Baltimore Orioles in 1956. 
  • Williams moved around a lot (4 teams in 8 years) during the rest of his career. Dick batted only .159 in 1964. He was given the opportunity to be a player-coach for the AAA team of the Boston Red Sox. Williams took the job and was promoted to manager when the Red Sox moved their affiliation from Seattle to Toronto and the previous manager didn't want to move. Dick won two straight Governor's Cups in 1965 and 1966.
  • Dick was hired to manage the Red Sox after the 1966 season. The club had been struggling for years and Williams decided to adopt a strict disciplinarian approach to the team. Boston unexpectedly won the AL pennant in 1967 and took the St. Louis Cardinals to seven games in the World Series before bowing out. Williams was named the Manager of the Year. Dick signed a new three-year contract but was fired in September 1969 when the Red Sox were unable to repeat the success of 1967.
  • Williams was the third base coach of the Montreal Expos in 1970 and then was hired to manage the Oakland A's in 1971. The A's won the AL West under Williams in 1971 and then were the World Champions in 1972 and in 1973. Dick grew tired of the antics of owner Charlie Finley and resigned after the 1973 World Series. Williams was immediately hired by George Steinbrenner of the New York Yankees, but Finley protested and the Yankees ended up hiring Bill Virdon instead.
  • During the 1974 season the California Angels received permission to talk to Williams and he was hired to manage the club in mid-season. The club didn't respond well to Dick's strict style and didn't play well. Williams was fired in July 1976.
  • Dick was hired by the Montreal Expos for the 1977 season. The club finished below .500 in 1977 and in 1978, but by 1979 it was ready to contend. The Expos played well in 1979 and in 1980 but fell short of the division title both times. After the team started slowly in 1981 Williams was fired in September.
  • After the 1981 season Williams was hired to manage the San Diego Padres. The Padres improved steadily and in 1984 they made it to the World Series for the first time in club history. Williams managed the Padres from 1982-1985 and resigned in the midst of a power struggle between club officials during spring training in 1986.
  • Dick became the manager of the Seattle Mariners in May 1986. The team improved, but the improvement wasn't enough for Williams to keep his job. He was fired in June 1988. It looked like his style wasn't a good fit for modern ballplayers.
  • In 1989 Williams managed the West Palm Beach Tropics in the Senior Professional Baseball Association. Dick's last job in baseball was as  a special consultant for Steinbrenner. 
  • In 2000 Williams pleaded no contest to an indecent exposure charge (he was walking naked on a hotel balcony). The arrest probably cost him election to the Hall of Fame at that time -- the vote was taken a week after the arrest.
  • Dick was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veteran's Committee in 2007. Williams passed away in 2011.
    • Record: 75-87, 5th in NL East, 26 games behind the Philadelphia Phillies
    • Attendance:  1,433,757, 6th in NL
    • Team Batting: .260, 7th in NL
    • Team HR:  138, 5th in NL
    • Team Stolen Bases: 88, 10th in NL
    • Team ERA: 4.01, 8th in NL
    • Team Fielding: .980, 4th in NL
    • All Stars: Ellis Valentine (OF)
    • Awards:  Andre Dawson (NL Rookie of the Year)
    • NL Leaders:  none
    • Batting Leader: Ellis Valentine (.293) 
    • Home Run Leader: Gary Carter (31)
    • RBI Leader: Tony Perez (91)
    • Stolen Base Leader: Andre Dawson, Dave Cash (21)
    • Victories Leader: Steve Rogers (17)
    • Losses Leader: Steve Rogers (16)
    • Strikeout Leader: Steve Rogers (206)
    • Saves Leader: Joe Kerrigan (11)
    • ERA Leader (starters): Steve Rogers (3.10)
    • ERA Leader (relievers): Joe Kerrigan (3.22)
    • Players who could have had Expos cards in 1977 (batters with over 100 AB, pitchers with over 40 innings) :
      • Fred Holdsworth (3-3, 3.19 ERA in 14 games / 6 starts)
      • Bill Atkinson (7-2, 7 saves, 3.35 ERA in 55 games)
      • Will McEnaney (P) (pictured with Cincinnati Reds) 3-5, 3 saves, 3.95 ERA in 69 games
      • Santo Alcala (P) (pictured with Cincinnati Reds) - 2-6, 2 saves, 4.69 ERA in 31 games / 10 starts
      • Jackie Brown (P) (pictured with Cleveland Indians) - 9-12, 4.51 ERA in 42 games / 25 starts
      • Stan Bahnsen (P) (pictured with Oakland A's) - 8-9, 4.81 ERA in 23 games / 22 starts
      • Wayne Twitchell (P) (pictured with Philadelphia Phillies) - 6-5, 4.21 ERA in 22 starts
      • Warren Cromartie (OF) - .282, 5 HR, 50 RBI in 155 games
      • Tony Perez (1B) (pictured with Cincinnati Reds) - .283, 19 HR, 91 RBI in 154 games
      • Chris Speier (SS) (pictured with San Francisco Giants) - .235, 5 HR, 38 RBI in 139 games

1 comment:

  1. I wonder if Topps reserved the smaller inset photos (like Dick Williams in this case) for the airbrush "B" Team. Dick Williams' cap isn't too convincing. Same with Jack McKeon's on the A's team card.