Veterans’ Committee Announces 2008 HOF Inductees

Veterans’ Committee Announces 2008 HOF Inductees

For the first time since 2001 the VC announced some HOF inductees. Today I will comment on two of the five inductees.

The two managers inducted are very deserving of their elevated status as Hall of Famers.

Dick Williams

Dick couldn’t seem to hold a job in his 20 year managing career, however he was very adept at finishing in first place. His clubs finished in first 6 times, winning 4 pennants and 2 World Series. He managed in Boston, Oakland, California, Montreal, San Diego and Seattle. He finished with a .520 winning percentage. His 1571 career wins place him 18th all time. His contemporaries are HOFers Billy Martin, Earl Weaver, Sparky Anderson, Tommy Lasorda, Red Schoendienst and non-HOFers Gene Mauch and Ralph Houk.
Dick’s playing career was that of journeyman/utility player (usually making the best managers) he played 13 season with 5 teams batting .260/.312/.392.
Dick is probably best remembered by Red Sox nation by leading the ’67 Sox in a thrilling pennant race and an equally thrilling World Series loss in his rookie season. His greatest achievement is probably his success he had with the dynasty Oakland A’s in the early 1970s. In his three season in the east bay he won three AL West titles and two World Series. He managed the most with the Expos, and spent the bulk of his managerial career during that franchises glory days. Dick will proabably be inducted as an A but he will be remembered as a great manager in all the cities he managed at (except maybe in Seattle).

Billy Southworth

Most baseball fans would not remember Billy as his managing career ended 56 years ago. As a National League manager only he ammassed an impressive .597 winning percentage for fifth all time and a .642 during his 7 seasons in St.Louis. He managed the Cards to two WS in 1942 and 1944 as well as the NL title in 1943 and with the Braves in 1948. His contemporaries were HOFers Charlie Grimm, Leo Durocher, Frankie Frisch and Bill McKechnie. It comes as a surprise that Billy isn’t already in the Hall of Fame.

Billy was a decent player. Probably always remembered as a Gas House Ganger but he really only spent 3 season with Hornsby and the gang. Like Williams he was a journeyman with stops in Cleveland, Pittsburgh, the Braves, Giants and the Cards. He had a career record of .297/.359/.415 decent stats for an outfielder who’s career stretched back into the deadball era.

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