Former Padres skipper Williams dead at 82

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Dick Williams, the crusty manager who led the San Diego Padres to their first World Series appearance, died Thursday in Las Vegas, reportedly of a brain aneurysm. He was 82.

The Padres had only finished over .500 once in 13 seasons before Williams took over in 1982, and immediately guided the Friars to a pair of 81- 81 records.

In his third season, 1984, the Padres raced to the National League West title and defeated the Chicago Cubs in a playoff series marked by Steve Garvey's dramatic home run that won Game 4.

Williams left San Diego after the next season to join the Seattle Mariners. His record with the Padres was 337-311.

“Dick ushered in one of the greatest eras in Padres history, making a tremendous impact not only on our team, but on the city of San Diego during the 1980s,” team Vice Chairman and CEO Jeff Moorad said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. He will be greatly missed.”

Williams also guided the Boston Red Sox to the American League pennant in 1967 and was at the helm of the Oakland Athletics for World Series championships in 1972 and 1973.

He was inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Padres Hall of Fame one year later.

Categories: Padres