Longtime MLB manager Jimy Williams died Friday at age 80, the Boston Red Sox announced.
Williams passed away at AdventHealth North Pinellas Hospital in Tarpon Springs, Florida, due to a brief illness. Williams resided in Palm Harbor.
After a short stint as a big leaguer — a shoulder injury gave it a short life span — Williams quickly got into coaching and eventually worked himself up to manage the Toronto Blue Jays.
It was the first of his stops during his managerial career, which began in the minors at Class A Quad Cities of the Midwest League for the California Angels.
Williams took over for Bobby Cox in Toronto in 1982, but after Cito Gaston replaced him in 1998, he joined Cox with the Atlanta Braves to serve as his third base coach. Williams did that from 1991-1996, where his most famous moment came in Game 7 of the 1992 NLCS against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Williams sent Sid Bream home after Francisco Cabrera hit a single, and he beat Barry Bonds’ throw from left field to win the game in the bottom of the ninth.
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Williams would return to the manager’s seat in 1997, taking over the Red Sox’s job from Kevin Kennedy. He would win just 78 games in his first season, but it was the start of a good thing in Boston.
The Red Sox went 92-70 in Williams’ second season with the ballclub, and after going 94-68 in 1999, he won American League Manager of the Year.
“I probably see life a lot differently than when I was with Toronto, maybe not so excitable, from a standpoint of having to say something all the time,” Williams said after earning Manager of the Year.
Williams would spend two more seasons with the Sox after that before he was hired by the Houston Astros after being fired in August 2001.
The Astros kept him on for 2.5 seasons before firing him with a 44-44 record in 2004.
While Williams didn’t win a World Series ring as a manager, he was able to capture one after that period of coaching came to an end. After serving as a roving instructor with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2005 and 2006, Williams joined Charlie Manuel’s staff with the Philadelphia Phillies as bench coach.
He would win the World Series in 2008 in his second season with the club, though he could’ve had two if not for the New York Yankees winning it all over the Phillies in 2009.
He spent four seasons north of the border, earning a 281-241 record over 523 games.
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