BOSTON (CBS) – Dick Williams, manager of the 1967 Red Sox “Impossible Dream” team, has died at the age of 82.
Williams died at his Las Vegas home from what is believed to be a brain aneurysm.
Williams coached for 21 seasons in the majors, winning three pennants and two World Series titles. He manned the Red Sox bench from 1967-69, posting a 260-217 record.
Williams was named the 1967 “Manager of the Year” for leading the Red Sox, a team that finished just half-a-game out of last place in 1966, to a 92-70 record and the American League pennant. He turned the clubhouse around, benching underperforming players and often arguing with umpires.
Terry Francona On Passing Of Dick Williams
The Red Sox lost the ’67 World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games.
Williams is one of seven managers to win pennants in both leagues. In addition to the ’67 AL pennant with the Red Sox, he won back-to-back World Series titles with the Oakland Athletics in 1972 and 73 and the 1984 NL pennant with the San Diego Padres.
Red Sox manager Terry Francona played under Williams for one year.
“I played under Dick with the Expos and, even at a young age, I was impressed by his knowledge of the game. He was always thinking two innings ahead and was never caught off-guard,” said Francona.
Williams was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2008, voted in by the veteran’s committee.
He had a career record of 1571-1451 with the Red Sox, Athletics, Angels, Expos, Padres and Mariners.
The Red Sox held a moment of silence in the memory of Dick Williams prior to Thursday night’s game at Fenway Park.
“Dick Williams inherited a Red Sox team that had finished with a losing record in eight consecutive seasons and immediately set a new tone and course,” Red Sox Principal Owner John Henry said. “Dick was an outstanding leader who demanded excellence and accountability from all his players, leading the Impossible Dream Red Sox to the 1967 AL Pennant that forever changed baseball in New England.”