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Former MLB manager Jimy Williams dies after brief illness

By Stew Davidson
January 30, 2024

The Boston Red Sox organiation has announced the passing of veteran MLB manager Jimy Williams on Friday at the age of 80.

Williams succumbed to a brief illness at AdventHealth North Pinellas Hospital in Tarpon Springs, Florida, near where he resided in Palm Harbor, as Fox News reported.

From Player to Successful Manager

Though his own professional playing career was brief due to a shoulder injury, Williams swiftly transitioned to coaching.

Eventually, he rose to the position of manager for the Toronto Blue Jays.

This appointment marked the start of a distinguished managerial career that commenced in the lower leagues with Class A Quad Cities in the Midwest League for the California Angels.

In 1982, Williams stepped in for Bobby Cox to lead the Toronto, a position he held until Cito Gaston took over in 1998.

Williams then joined Cox with the Atlanta Braves, serving as the third base coach from 1991 to 1996.

A standout moment in Williams' coaching career occurred during Game 7 of the 1992 NLCS against the Pittsburgh Pirates, where his decision to send Sid Bream home led to a game-winning play against a throw from Barry Bonds.

Triumphs and Challenges

Williams returned to the role of manager in 1997 with the Boston Red Sox, replacing Kevin Kennedy. His first season saw a modest 78 wins, but it laid the foundation for future success.

Under his guidance, the Red Sox improved significantly, achieving a 92-70 record in his second season and a 94-68 record in 1999, which led to Williams being named the American League Manager of the Year.

Reflecting on his evolution, Williams remarked, "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."

His tenure with the Red Sox lasted two more seasons before moving to the Houston Astros in 2001 after being released by Boston.

Williams' time with the Astros ended in 2004 with a mid-season record of 44-44.

The Pursuit of a World Series Ring

Although Williams never clinched a World Series ring as a manager, his baseball journey saw him achieve this pinnacle later in his career.

After working as a roving instructor with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2005 and 2006, he joined Charlie Manuel's staff with the Philadelphia Phillies as a bench coach.

Williams tasted World Series glory in 2008 during his second season with the Phillies, narrowly missing a second championship in 2009 when the New York Yankees triumphed over the Phillies.

During his time in Canada, Williams left an indelible mark, managing the Blue Jays to a record of 281 wins against 241 losses over 523 games.