The San Diego Padres will commemorate the passing of one of their own on Thursday. Former manager Dick Williams passed away at 82 last week at his home in Las Vegas.
In honor of the late manager, the Padres will wear uniforms from their 1983 season along with a memorial patch with Williams' initials. As part of the organizations’s tribute, it plans to have a moment of silence, a tribute video and a flag in his memory flying in the Petco Park flag court.
“Through his leadership and passion for the game, Dick Williams left an indelible mark on the Padres franchise," said Tom Garfinkel, Padres president and COO. "It is only fitting that we honor him both on ad off the field for the role he played in one of the greatest eras in Padres history.”
Williams was known for building losing teams into winners.
In 1981, the Padres finished sixth in the NL West with a 41-69 record. Williams took control in 1982 and led the team to a 92-70 season in 1984 and the team’s first World Series appaearance.
Williams closed out his stint with the Padres with a 337-311 career record and a .520 winning percentage over four years, never finishing below .500. He was elected to the Padres Hall of Fame in 2009.
Aside from his time with the Padres, Williams had an extensive career and, in 2007, was immortalized in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.
As a player, he made his Major League debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1951. Primarily an outfielder, Williams found himself playing for a variety of teams over 13 seasons. The right-hander played in 1,023 games, batting .260 with 157 doubles, 12 triples, 70 home runs, 331 RBI and 358 runs scored.
Over his 21-year career as a manager, Williams posted a career winning percentage of .520 (1,571-1,451), advancing to the postseason five times and winning the back-to-back World Series Championships with the Oakland A’s.
Tickets to Thursday night's commemorative game against the San Francisco Giants can be purchased online.