Saturday, May 1, 2010

Walt Williams (#172)

From the previous post, we move across Chicago to the White Sox and Walt "No Neck" Williams. This is the 2nd year in a row that a White Sox' outfielder was named to the Topps All-Rookie team. (Tommie Agee was named the previous year. I wonder if it was Williams' fine play that enabled the Sox to move Agee to the Mets after the 1967 season?)

In 1966, 1968, and 1969, Topps used the same color-coding for each team's cards. Each color was used for one AL and one NL team. Coincidently, both the White Sox and Cubs were orange.

Williams was signed by the Houston Colt .45s in 1963. After one season in their farm system, he was picked up by the Cardinals and played 3 seasons with their minor-league teams, until he was traded to the White Sox in December 1966 (along with pitcher Don Dennis) for catcher Johnny Romano.

Walt spent the next 6 years in the White Sox' outfield (although he was in the minors for a good part of the 1968 season). He was a backup in the corner outfield spots as a rookie, but after returning to full-time status in 1969, he became the regular right fielder.

In 1970, Walt shared the right field job with Bill Melton. (Melton had been the regular 3rd baseman before and after 1970, but divided his time between 3rd and left in 1970.)

The following year, it was Pat Kelly who kept Williams from playing full-time in right field, as they shared the position evenly. In 1972, Kelly's playing time in right field increased to about two-thirds, while Walt's decreased further.

After one season as the Indians' backup left fielder, Walt was traded to the Yankees prior to the 1974 season. Williams spent his final 2 seasons with the Yankees, but rarely played the outfield.

1 comment:

Hackenbush said...

Great card. Love the cartoon too!