Billy Williams

Billy Leo Williams (born June 15, 1938) is a retired American baseball left fielder who played 16 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Chicago Cubs and 2 seasons for the Oakland Athletics. Williams was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987.[1] In 1999, he was named a finalist for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.

Williams was the 1961 National League (NL) Rookie of the Year and was an NL All-Star for six seasons with the Cubs. In 1970, he had a .322 batting average with 42 home runs and 129 runs batted in (RBI), led the NL with 205 hits, and was the NL Most Valuable Player runner-up. In 1972, he won the NL batting title while hitting .333. Williams hit more than 400 home runs in his career, including 30 or more in 5 seasons. He also hit above .300 in five seasons and had over 100 RBI in three seasons.

Williams was a highly competitive player on Cubs teams that never reached the postseason. When he finally played in the postseason during the second-to-last year of his career with the Athletics, the A's did not get to the World Series. In 1999, he was selected as a member of the Cubs All-Century Team.

Billy Williams
Billy Williams 2013
Williams in 2013
Left fielder
Born: June 15, 1938 (age 81)
Whistler, Alabama
Batted: Left Threw: Right
MLB debut
August 6, 1959, for the Chicago Cubs
Last MLB appearance
October 2, 1976, for the Oakland Athletics
MLB statistics
Batting average.290
Home runs426
Runs batted in1,475
Career highlights and awards
Member of the National
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Vote85.71% (sixth ballot)

Early life

Billy Williams was born in Whistler, Alabama. His father Frank was a stevedore who had also played first base for the semipro Whistler Stars.[2] Williams grew up in a segregated neighborhood.[3] He attended Whistler High School.[4] Entering professional baseball in 1956, Williams started his minor league career with the Ponca City Cubs of the Sooner State League. After returning to Ponca City in 1957 and hitting 17 home runs, Williams split 1958 between the Burlington Bees and Pueblo Bruins.[5]

In his autobiography, Williams recalled that had never experienced overt racial discrimination until his 1959 promotion to the Class AA San Antonio Missions in San Antonio, Texas. He was so discouraged that he left the team and went home. Buck O'Neil, the Cubs scout who had originally discovered Williams, was dispatched to Whistler, and he persuaded Williams to return to the team.[6] During the 1959 season, he advanced to the Class AAA Fort Worth Cats and even played 18 games for the Cubs.[4][5] In 1960, he hit 26 home runs for the Class AAA Houston Buffs and played in 12 major league games.[4][5]

MLB career

Chicago Cubs

Williams joined a Chicago Cubs team that by the early 1960s would feature stars such as Ernie Banks, Ferguson Jenkins, and Ron Santo. Rogers Hornsby (winner of seven NL batting titles), who by 1960 was serving as a scout and coach in the Cubs organization, predicted Williams would someday win a batting title.

Williams debuted with the Cubs late in the 1959 season and played in a total of 30 games in both the 1959 and 1960 seasons. In 1961, he played in 146 games and was selected as the NL Rookie of the Year. That year, he hit 25 home runs and drove in 86 runs. In 1962, 1964, and 1965, he was named an NL All-Star.[4] He won the NL Player of the Month Award in May 1964 with a .455 average, 8 HR, and 22 RBI. Williams struggled defensively in the first few years of his career, leading NL outfielders in errors as a rookie. By the mid-1960s, his defense was no longer seen as a serious weakness.[2] He would return to the All-Star Game in 1968, 1972, and 1973.[4]

Billy Williams 1961
Williams in 1961

In each season from 1961 to 1973, Williams hit at least 20 home runs and drove in 84 or more runs. His batting swing was smooth and efficient, with quick wrist action that allowed him to hit for both average and power despite his slender frame. Early in his career, this earned him the nickname "Sweet-Swinging Billy Williams," sometimes shortened to "Sweet Williams" or "Sweet Billy" (perhaps suggested by the flowers known as sweet williams). His nickname was later referenced in the subtitle of his autobiography. He was also nicknamed "Sweet-Swinging Billy from Whistler," suggesting his birthplace in Alabama. His home run feats included 3 homers in one game and 5 homers in 2 consecutive games. Twice in one season, Williams belted 4 extra-base hits in a game.

In 1970, Williams batted .322 with 42 homers and 129 RBI and finished second in National League Most Valuable Player voting; surprisingly, despite batting .319 with 26 HR and 80 RBI at the All-Star break, he was left off the All-Star team. Williams set a National League record for consecutive games played with 1,117 from 1963 to 1970. (This record was later eclipsed by Steve Garvey with 1,207 games played from 1975 to 1983.) As his consecutive games streak began to accumulate, he was dubbed "Iron Man" by some writers.[7] He co-authored a 1970 book called Iron Man.[4] In 1972, he was the National League batting champion and named the Major League Player of the Year by The Sporting News.[8] He paced the league in batting average with a .333 mark, and he also posting a .606 slugging percentage while collecting 37 home runs and 122 runs batted in (RBI). In August, he won his second and final NL Player of the Month Award (.438 average, 9 HR, 29 RBI). For the second time, he was the NL MVP runner-up to Johnny Bench of the Cincinnati Reds; Williams never won the award.

Oakland Athletics

Williams was traded to the American League's Oakland Athletics after the 1974 season for second baseman Manny Trillo and two pitchers.[9] He helped lead Oakland get to the 1975 American League West championship as a designated hitter, hitting 23 homers with 81 RBI. In 1976, Williams played in 120 games and hit only .211.[4] He retired that year. Williams accumulated a lifetime .290 batting average with 426 home runs and 1,475 RBI.

Later years

Cubs 26 Williams
Billy Williams's number 26 was retired by the Chicago Cubs in 1987.

Williams credited a grade-school teacher with encouraging him to always try to improve, citing the old saying, "Good, better, best / Never let it rest / Until the good is better / And the better is best."[10]

Williams was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987. On August 13, 1987, Williams' uniform number 26 was retired at Wrigley Field. His was the second number to be retired by the Cubs, the first being Ernie Banks' number 14. Following his departure from the Cubs, the number was reassigned to other players from time to time, most notably Larry Biittner; Williams reclaimed it during several intervals of coaching with the Cubs after his playing days had ended.

In 1999, he was selected to the Cubs All-Century Team and was named as one of 100 finalists to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. During the 2010 season, the Cubs honored Williams with a statue outside Wrigley Field in Chicago. The statue was unveiled in a pre-game ceremony before their home game on September 7 against the Houston Astros.[11]

Williams-Sandberg retired numbers
Retired number 26 at Wrigley Field

In 2011, Williams was appointed as a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame's 16-member Golden Era Committee (replacing the Veterans Committee), which considers ten Golden Era candidates every three years for the Hall of Fame. The ten candidates from the 1947 to 1972 era are first identified by the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) appointed Historical Overview Committee (10-12 BBWAA members) every three years. Former Cubs third baseman Ron Santo was the only Golden Era candidate elected to the Hall of Fame by "The Committee" (includes 8 members of the Hall of Fame) during their winter meetings in December 2011 (and 2014).[12]

See also


  1. ^ National Baseball Hall of Fame [1] Retrieved May 5, 2015
  2. ^ a b Armour, Mark. "Billy Williams". Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
  3. ^ Williams, p. 1.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Billy Williams Statistics". Retrieved September 6, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c "Billy Williams Minor League Statistics & History". Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  6. ^ Williams, p. 8-11.
  7. ^ [2]
  8. ^ Cooperstown: Where the Legends Live Forever, by Lowell Reidenbaugh, edited by Joe Hoppel, and compiled by the Editors of The Sporting News. New York, Gramercy Books, 1999.
  9. ^ A's get Billy Williams in trade with Chicago
  10. ^ Williams, p. 210.
  11. ^
  12. ^ National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, December 5, 2011: "Ron Santo Elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame by Golden Era Committee"[3]


Further reading

External links

Preceded by
Willie Mays
César Cedeño
Major League Player of the Month
May 1964
July 1972
Succeeded by
Jim Bunning
Ken Henderson
Preceded by
Carl Yastrzemski
Hitting for the cycle
July 17, 1966
Succeeded by
Randy Hundley
(Why Did I Tell You I Was Going To) Shanghai

"(Why Did I Tell You I Was Going To) Shanghai" is a popular song written by Bob Hilliard (lyricist) and Milton De Lugg (composer).

It was recorded by Doris Day in 1951 and was a big hit for her. Other charting versions were recorded by Bing Crosby and by the Billy Williams Quartet.

The recording by Doris Day was released by Columbia Records as catalog number 39423, with the flip side "My Life's Desire". It first reached the Billboard magazine charts on June 22, 1951, and lasted 17 weeks on the chart, peaking at #9.Bing Crosby's version was recorded for Decca Records on June 8, 1951 with Dave Barbour and his Orchestra and it charted briefly in the Billboard magazine charts in the #21 position on September 8, 1951.A recording by the Billy Williams Quartet was released by MGM Records as catalog number 10998, with the flip side "The Wondrous Word". It first reached the Billboard magazine charts on August 10, 1951, and lasted 6 weeks on the chart, peaking at #20.

1964 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1964 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 35th midseason exhibition between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and the National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was played on July 7, 1964, at Shea Stadium in New York City, New York, home of the New York Mets of the National League. The game was a 7–4 victory for the NL. Johnny Callison hit a walk-off home run, the most recent MLB All-Star game to end in such a fashion.

1987 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum for 1987 followed the system in place since 1978.

The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players and

elected two, Catfish Hunter and Billy Williams.

The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions to consider older major league players as well as managers, umpires, executives, and figures from the Negro Leagues.

It selected Ray Dandridge from the Negro Leagues.

BAFTA Award for Best Cinematography

This is a list of winners and nominees for the BAFTA Award for Best Cinematography, which is presented to cinematographers, given out by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts since 1963.

Billy Williams (American football)

Billy Louis Williams (born June 7, 1971) is a former American football wide receiver who played one season with the St. Louis Rams of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the seventh round of the 1995 NFL Draft. He first enrolled at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College before transferring to the University of Tennessee. Williams attended Alcoa High School in Alcoa, Tennessee.

Billy Williams (basketball)

Billy Williams (born September 27, 1958) is a retired American basketball player who played one year at Brevard Community College and three years at Clemson University, before being drafted by the Houston Rockets in the 1980 NBA Draft. However, he did not play in the NBA.

Billy Williams (cinematographer)

Billy Williams OBE, BSC (born 3 June 1929, Walthamstow, London) is a British cinematographer.Williams was responsible for shooting a number of films, including Women in Love (1969), Gandhi (1982), for which he won an Oscar, and On Golden Pond (1981). Williams joined his father, also named Billy, as an apprentice cameraman, remaining with him for four years. Later he served in the RAF as a photographer. On leaving the RAF he obtained a job with British Transport Films (BTF), filming all forms of transportation.After this, it was to Iraq (where he later shot the opening scenes to The Exorcist, 1973), filming for the Iraq Petroleum Company. At this time he owned his own Arriflex camera. He spent several years in documentary work, hoping that one day he could break into features.

Before his feature debut, he became a cameraman on commercials, where he made contact with future directors Ken Russell and John Schlesinger (who had directed for BTF as well). In 1965 he shot his first feature as director of photography, having by-passed the focus puller and operator stages. His first feature offering was San Ferry Ann. He made several others before shooting Billion Dollar Brain with Russell in 1967.Williams can be seen in a cameo in the film The Wind and the Lion (1975), playing a British nobleman living in Tangier who is killed in a shootout with Sean Connery's Berber tribesmen. He also appeared with Cher in 1987's Suspect.

Williams retired on New Year's Day 1996. Since retirement he has travelled, conducting workshops on film. He was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2009 Birthday Honours. Williams is featured in a new book on cinematographers called Conversations with Cinematographers by David A Ellis and published by Scarecrow Press, which is part of the Rowman and Littlefield publishing group.

Billy Williams (right fielder)

William Williams (June 13, 1932 – June 11, 2013) was a professional baseball player. He appeared in four games in Major League Baseball for the Seattle Pilots in 1969. He also had an extensive minor league baseball career, spanning eighteen seasons from 1952 to 1969.

Billy Williams (rugby, born 1905)

William "Billy" Arthur Williams (29 December 1905 – 4 November 1973) was a Welsh dual-code international rugby union, and professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1920s and 1930s. He played representative level rugby union (RU) for Wales, and at club level for Crumlin and Cross Keys as a flanker, and representative level rugby league (RL) for Great Britain and Wales, and at club level for Salford (captain), as a prop, or second-row, i.e. number 8 or 10, or, 11 or 12, during the era of contested scrums.

Billy Williams (rugby, born 1929)

William Owen Gooding Williams (23 November 1929 – 19 March 2013) was a Welsh international rugby union player. A prop forward, he played club rugby for Gowerton, Swansea and the Royal Navy. At international level he represented Wales on 22 occasions and was chosen to represent the British Isles team on their 1955 tour of South Africa.

On the 1955 British Isles Tour the all-Welsh front row of Billy Williams, Bryn Meredith and Courtney Meredith was selected for a Lions test match. This did not occur again until June 2009 when Gethin Jenkins, Adam Jones and Matthew Rees were selected as the British and Irish Lions front row for the 2nd Test against South Africa.

Billy Williams (singer)

Wilfred Williams (December 28, 1910 – October 17, 1972) was an African-American singer. He had a successful cover recording of Fats Waller's "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter" in 1957. The record sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. His trademark hook for his songs was to shout "Oh, Yeah" at the end of lyrics.

Billy Williams (umpire)

William George Williams, Jr. (September 19, 1930 – September 22, 1998) was a National League umpire from 1963 through 1987. He wore uniform number 24 for most of his career.

Burlington Bees

The Burlington Bees are a Class A minor league baseball team, based in Burlington, Iowa, that is an affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels. The franchise was founded in 1889. The Bees have played in the Midwest League since 1962. The team was first known as the "Bees" from 1924 to 1932 and again from 1954 to 1981. The Bees nickname was revived for the 1993 season and remains to this day. Their home since 1947 has been Community Field in Burlington, Iowa. Baseball Hall of Fame members Billy Williams and Paul Molitor played for Burlington.

Charlie Cardinal

Charlie Cardinal is the mascot of Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. He is an anthropomorphic cardinal.

Ball State's athletics teams have been known as the Cardinals since 1927. Originally nicknamed the "Hooserions," discontent led to a school newspaper-sponsored contest to find a new nickname. When no acceptable choices came, a committee was formed, and it was a member of this committee, Professor Paul Billy Williams, who came up with the new nickname of Cardinals. He came up with it while talking to Coach Norman G. Wann, another committee member, about how the logo of his favorite team, the Saint Louis Cardinals, looked distinctive on the jersey of Rogers Hornsby.

Actor and mime Doug Jones portrayed Charlie when he attended Ball State in the early 1980s.

List of Chicago Cubs team records

The following lists statistical records and all-time leaders as well as awards and major accomplishments for the Chicago Cubs professional baseball club of Major League Baseball. The records list the top 5 players in each category since the inception of the Cubs.

Players that are still active with the Cubs are denoted in bold.

Records updated as of August 5, 2011.

List of Coronation Street characters (1995)

The following is a list of characters that first appeared in the ITV soap opera Coronation Street in 1995, by order of first appearance.

Paul "Billy" Williams

Paul Beauchamp "Billy" Williams (August 8, 1892 – July 14, 1973) was an American football, basketball, and baseball coach and college athletics administrator. He served as the head football coach at Ball Teachers College, Eastern Division, Indiana State Normal School—now known as Ball State University from 1924 to 1925, compiling a record of 3–8. He was the Ball Teachers College's head basketball from 1922 to 1925, tallying a mark of 36–34–1, and the school's head baseball coach from 1922 to 1926 and from 1928 to 1958, amassing a record of 207–228–4. In addition, Williams served as the school's athletic director from 1921 until 1958. He died on July 14, 1973, at a nursing home in Muncie, Indiana.

Ronnie Taylor

Ronald Charles Taylor BSC (27 October 1924 – 3 August 2018) was a British cinematographer, best known for his collaborations with directors Richard Attenborough and Dario Argento. Throughout his career, he was nominated for two BAFTA Award for Best Cinematography and won an Academy Award for his work on Gandhi (1982), which he shared with Billy Williams.

Veterans Committee
J. G. Taylor Spink Award
Ford C. Frick Award
First basemen
Second basemen
Third basemen
Designated hitters
Executives /


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