Sunday, June 14, 2015

Sunday Night Baseball: Cubs HoF Billy Williams turns 77

With Sunday Night Baseball in Chicago we will take a look at the 1960s era Cubs Hall of Fame Left Fielder and Monday Birthday Boy Billy Williams

1965 Topps #220 Billy Williams

Pretty strong HoF Resume for Mr Williams: 426 Home Runs, 2711 hits, 1961 Rookie of the Year, 1972 Batting Champ, and 3 Time League Total Base Leader.

If it wouldn't be for Johnny Bench, Billy Williams would also have a pair of MVP awards on his mantle as well.

The only omission is his modest postseason contributions. Like all the big time Cubs of the era (or almost any era) Williams got shut out of the World Series until he moved onto another team. Williams finally got to experience the playoffs in 1975 at the age of 37 as a member of the Oakland A's.  Unfortunately his only playoff opportunity was brief as the A's were swept by the Boston Red Sox.

1965 Topps #220 Billy Williams (b-side)

Nice snap shot of Billy Williams number mid career. At 27 the man was established but still early in his career, He would hit 319 Homers after this card was produced. The cartoon is a nice nod to Williams Rookie of the Year award in 1961. He appears to be driving a VW Beetle, likely as nice a car as a rookie could afford in 1961 when Billy Williams pulled in an estimated $9500.

Post career Billy Williams returned to the Cubs as a coach but never got the chance to manage a club. In August 13th 1987 The Cubs retired Williams #26 just a few after his induction to the Hall of Fame. The Cubs drew 35,033 for the ceremony and the Fans got to see a W that day. 

Phun Phact
The trade that sent from Billy Williams to Oakland was for a package of players that included Manny Trillo - The second baseman for the 1980 World Champion Phillies.

Billy Williams HoF Index
1965 Topps #220 (Year of the Tiger Birthday)
1965 Topps #4 (LL HR)

Statue at Wrigley Field

Sources and Links
SABR bio by Mark Armour
This Day in Chicago Cubs History

1 comment:

Hackenbush said...

Happy Birthday, Billy! Nice man. Sweet swing.

a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions