Hall of Fame manager Williams dies at 82

Jul 7, 2011, 5:15 p.m.

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Baseball Hall of Fame manager Dick Williams, who led the Oakland Athletics to a pair of World Series championships, died on Thursday after suffering a ruptured aortic aneurysm. He was aged 82.

Williams posted a record of 1,571-1,451 during 21 years as a Major League Baseball manager with Oakland, Boston, Montreal, California, San Diego and Seattle.

"We are extremely saddened by the sudden loss of Dick Williams, a Hall of Fame manager whose commitment to the game was legendary," Jane Forbes Clark, chairman, of the Baseball Hall of Fame, said in a statement.

"He was an intense leader on the field and a gracious member of the Hall of Fame family, who loved returning to Cooperstown."

The colorful manager, who won back-to-back World Series with Oakland in 1972 and 1973, also guided the 1967 Red Sox and 1984 Padres to pennants. He remains the only manager to win pennants with three different teams.

After 13 seasons as a player, Williams retired in 1964 and in his first season as manager in 1967 transformed the Red Sox from a ninth place team into American League champions.

He stayed with the Red Sox until the 1969 season then took over the Oakland A's in 1971, guiding them to three American League West titles, two AL pennants and two World Series.

Williams again displayed his ability to turn around a team in San Diego, taking over the Padres in 1982 and guiding them to their first National League pennant in 1984. He remained with the Padres through the 1985 season then was in charge of the Seattle Mariners from 1986-88 before retiring.

Williams was voted in the Hall of Fame in 2008.

"Dick Williams' lasting legacy will be his innate ability to lead, turning franchises into winners wherever he managed," said Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson.

"No one wore the mantle of 'Hall of Famer' more proudly than Dick. We will miss him in Cooperstown."

(Writing by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Frank Pingue)

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