By taking over a ninth-place team and leading it to the pennant in his first year as a big-league manager in Boston, Dick Williams earned the reputation of being a turnaround artist that he built on later in Montreal and San Diego. By taking over an emerging powerhouse in Oakland and leading the Athletics to back-to-back World Series titles to start a dynasty in the 1970s, Williams became a Hall of Famer. Williams, one of only two managers ever to lead three teams to the World Series, died yesterday from a ruptured aortic aneurysm at a hospital near his home in Henderson, Nev. He was 82.
“He came to us at a very good time in our development and certainly for me as a young player full of talent,” Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson said. “We were young and needed to understand how to go about winning … He demanded excellence.” There was a moment of silence with Williams' picture on the scoreboard at Yankee Stadium and Dodger Stadium before last night's games. (Read more Dick Williams stories.)