Tuesday, March 14, 2017
no. 638 - stan williams
Who is the man: Stan Williams enjoyed his best season as a relief pitcher -- and possibly as any kind of pitcher -- in 1970. In his 12th season, he set career bests in appearances, earned-run average, winning percentage and a few other newer stats (not known in 1970), like ERA+, WHIP and SO/W.
Can ya dig it: Another photo in Yankee Stadium. I should have counted them all up from the beginning.
Right on: Williams was one year from what I consider his greatest card: his 1972 Topps night card.
You see that cat Williams is a bad mother: Williams was threatening on the mound (he's listed on the back of this card as 6-4 and 225) with a high, blazing fastball. On a Dodger rotation with a roll call of intimidating pitchers, Williams reportedly kept a "list" of batters he wanted to intimidate.
Shut your mouth: Williams had two nicknames. One was "Big Daddy". The other was a nickname that most people associate with a White Sox hitter, the "Big Hurt". Williams was called that because he wasn't afraid to hit batters.
No one understands him but his woman: The game that Williams is most noted for -- the third game of the 1962 playoff series between the Dodgers and the Giants -- contained one of the most second-guessed managerial moves in L.A. history. With the Dodgers ahead by a run with one out but the bases loaded with Giants, the right-handed Orlando Cepeda came to the plate. Walter Alston came to the mound and replaced Ed Roebuck not with lefties Larry Sherry or Ron Perranoski, but with the righty Williams, who was known to be wild. Said Dodgers coach Leo Durocher to catcher John Roseboro, "He'll walk the ballpark." Williams gave up a game-tying sacrifice fly, threw a wild pitch, was ordered to walk batter Ed Bailey to load the bases, then walked Jim Davenport to force in the go-ahead run.
(A word about the back): Williams was an All-Star in 1960, but he didn't play.