I always figured I’d come back to my 1977 Billy Williams “Career-capper” since I never really liked the image I used, and that day is today as I replace it with a much better shot:
“Sweet Swingin’ Billy from Whistler” wrapped up a Hall of Fame career in
1976 with the Oakland A’s, his second season with the team after 16
years with the Chicago Cubs.
Is it possible to be considered overshadowed and underrated yet still make the Hall of Fame? Williams is the perfect example!
By the time he retired, he finished with 2711 hits, 1410 runs scored,
426 home runs, 1475 runs batted in and a .290 batting average over 2488
He was the National League Rookie of the Year in 1961, two-time
runner-up to the MVP Award (thanks to Johnny Bench each time) in 1970
and 1972 and a six-time All-Star.
What a career he put together, yet always in the shadows of giants like
teammate Ernie Banks, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Roberto Clemente.
Nevertheless, though it took him six years of eligibility to make it, he
was elected for a rightful place in Cooperstown in 1987 when he
received 85.7% of the vote.
Just a great player all around.