It was just a couple weeks before he died that I was able to meet Hall of Fame manager Dick Williams in the Hawkeye Bar in Cooperstown.
I was in Cooperstown in mid June with my father to watch the Hall of Fame Classic, also known as the Old-Timers game and similar to the one that takes place at Yankee Stadium. The event in Cooperstown brings together former major league players, most of them being Hall of Famers, to play in a game at Doubleday Field.
This year, Williams managed both teams that played in the game, making several trips since he had to make the necessary substitutions for both teams.
I am thankful that I had the chance to meet him, especially considering I had no idea that my time was running out on that chance, as he died last week of a brain aneurysm at the age of 82. Williams began his professional baseball career first as a player, and most notably as a manager. As a 21-year manager of the Red Sox, Athletics, Expos, Angels, Padres, and Mariners, Williams became one of only two managers to ever lead four teams to four 90 win seasons. He led teams to three AL pennants, and NL pennant, and two World Series victories.
Williams was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2008.