Nov 2, 2011

1954 World Champion NY Giants Second Baseman: Davey Williams (1949-1955)

David Carlous Williams was born on November 2, 1927 in Dallas, Texas. The right handed hitting Second baseman was signed by the New York Giants in 1946. He made a brief appearance as a September call up in 1949, going 12-40 in 16 games.

He hit his first career HR driving in three runs on September 19th in a 6-4 victory at Pittsburgh. That off season the Giants acquired Eddie Stanky a favorite of manager Leo Durocher, landing Williams in the minors. Williams played minor league ball at AAA Minneapolis in 1950 &1951 with a young kid whom he knew would be a franchise player named Willie Mays.

Williams was brought back up during the incredible 1951 NY Giants comeback stretch, heading to the pennant win beating out the Brooklyn Dodgers. He batted .266 in 30 games behind Stanky at second base, with two HRs & 8 RBIs. In Game #2 of the 1951 Playoff Series, he got to pinch run in the 9th inning of the Dodgers 10-0 win at Ebbetts Field. He then got a pinch hit appearance (0-1) in the last game of the 1951 World Series.

When Stanky left New York went to finish his playing career in St. Louis, Williams became the Giants regular second baseman. In his first full season he had career highs in HRs (13) doubles (26) & RBIs (55) while batting .254.

In 1953 although his power numbers dropped; 3 HRs & 11 doubles, he hit a career high .297, making his only All Star appearance. He was inserted in the 9th inning of the ’53 All Star Game, catching the last out of the game, a pop up by Yogi Berra.

In the Giants 1954 Championship season Williams led all second baseman in fielding percentage (.982) keeping the infield solid up the middle. He played in 142 games, batting .222 with 9 HRs 18 doubles & 46 RBIs. In the World Series sweep over the Cleveland Indians, he went hitless in all four games.

1955 would end up being the last season of Williams playing career. In a game against the rival Brooklyn Dodgers, Giants pitcher Sal “the Barber” Maglie threw at a few Dodger batters. He hit a couple including Jackie Robinson. Later in the game Robinson was out for revenge, he laid down a bunt on the first base line. Maglie, was too slow getting off the mound so first baseman Whitey Lockman had to field it. Williams came over late to cover first base with no momentum behind him.

Robinson originally wanted to run over Maglie but since Williams was there instead, he had to get knocked down. As the collision occurred Williams held on to the ball for the out, but he got injured on the play. He missed almost two weeks of action then soon suffered from spinal arthritis & his career was cut short. Although he batted .251 through August he lost his job to Wayne Terrwilliger, and was released at the end of the year, ending a six year career.

A lifetime New York Giant, he played 517 games over six seasons, hitting hit .252 with 32 HRs 61 doubles & 163 RBIs. At second base, he recorded a .978 fielding percentage with 52 errors in 2323 chances.

Retirement: After his playing days, he was a Giants coach for the 1956-1957 seasons, and then managed at the minor league level. Williams was elected to the Texas Hall of Fame in 1998. He passed away on August 19th 2009 at his home outside Dallas, Texas at age 81.

No comments: