Born May 7, 1929 in St. Louis, Dick Williams was used primarily as a reserve outfielder during his five seasons with the Dodger organization. With the Dodgers, he played in 112 games and batted .232 with 4 home runs and 23 RBI. For the National League Champion Dodgers of 1952, he hit .309 with 11 RBI. In his 13-year career from 1951-64, Williams played in 1,023 games and hit .260 with 70 home runs and 331 RBI.
He later went on to a most successful managerial career, culminating with his induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in the Class of 2008, along with former Dodger owner Walter O’Malley. Managing six teams in his 21-year career, Williams guided the Oakland Athletics to two World Championships (1972 and 1973) and won 1,571 games. He is one of the elite group of 18 managers inducted into the Hall of Fame.
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“We’ve all had someone to give us a start, and my start came through Peter O'Malley’s father (Walter O’Malley) and Branch Rickey. My first 10 years in professional baseball, starting in 1947, were with the Brooklyn Dodgers, first three and a half years were in the farm system. I was one of the very early members, along with Tommy Lasorda, as members of Dodgertown USA at Vero Beach. What an experience that was. We slept on old Navy barracks spring mattresses. We were called at 6:00 in the morning, you put on your uniform, you had to be finished eating by 7:30, you looked at a board to see what your schedule was that day and if you had the sliding pit at 8 in the morning you were all kinds of trouble because you itched all day long. But what instructions we received. We had so many former major leaguers, all our minor league managers, all our scouts, including George Sisler, giving us instructions at every phase of the game, and this is where I learned my baseball. We call it Branch Rickey baseball because he was the baseball part of the tandem up in New York, but we also had some very, very great instructors along with my mentor, Bobby Bragan.”