Jimy Williams

James Francis Williams (born October 4, 1943) is an American former professional baseball infielder, coach and manager in Major League Baseball (MLB). He was born in Santa Maria, California, and briefly appeared in two MLB seasons as a second baseman and shortstop for the St. Louis Cardinals. After his playing career, he managed in the California Angels' minor league system before managing at the MLB level for the Toronto Blue Jays (1986–89), Boston Red Sox (1997–2001) and Houston Astros (2002–04), and was the American League Manager of the Year in 1999. He has also coached for Toronto, the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies.

Jimy Williams
Second baseman / Shortstop / Manager
Born: (1943-10-04) October 4, 1943
Santa Maria, California, U.S.
Batted: Right
Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 26, 1966, for the St. Louis Cardinals
Last MLB appearance
September 21, 1967, for the St. Louis Cardinals
MLB statistics
Batting average.231
Runs batted in1
Managerial record910–790
Winning %.535
As player

As manager

Career highlights and awards

Playing career

Williams, a former infielder who threw and batted right-handed, graduated from Arroyo Grande, California, High School and Fresno State University. He signed originally with the Boston Red Sox and was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1965 Rule 5 draft. He appeared in 14 games for the Cards over two seasons 1966–67, but had only 13 at bats, compiling a batting average of .231. Although he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds after the 1967 season, then selected in the 1968 expansion draft by the Montreal Expos, he never appeared in an MLB game for either club. The first pitcher Williams ever faced was Sandy Koufax. He got his first hit off another Hall of Famer: Juan Marichal.[1]

Coaching and managerial career

Early career, Toronto Blue Jays, and Atlanta Braves

His playing days cut short by a shoulder injury, Williams began his minor league managing career with the California Angels in 1974. He soon reached the Triple-A level and was appointed the third base coach of the Toronto Blue Jays in 1980.

Williams remained as Toronto's third base coach for six seasons, until he was promoted to manager in 1986 when Bobby Cox left the organization to rejoin the Atlanta Braves. He was the Blue Jays' manager until the 1989 season, when he was fired May 14 and replaced by Cito Gaston after the team got off to a 12–24 start. Gaston went 77–49 for the rest of the season and won the American League East title. Williams finished with a record of 281 wins and 241 losses.[2]

He spent 1991–96 with the Atlanta Braves as their third-base coach, working again under Bobby Cox, including the Braves 1995 World Series championship season. While with the Braves, Williams developed a reputation as an outstanding teaching coach, especially adept at working with infielders.

During the 1992 National League Championship Series, he waved home Sid Bream after seeing Barry Bonds having to make a difficult throw on a single while the game was tied in the ninth inning. Bream made the slide that would win the pennant for the Braves in that game.

Boston Red Sox

From 1997 to 2001, Williams managed the Red Sox, leading them to wild-card playoff berths in 1998 and 1999. In 1999, the Red Sox reached the American League Championship Series, but lost to their arch-rivals, the New York Yankees, 4 games to 1. Williams received the 1999 Major League Baseball Manager of the Year Award for the American League. Williams' relationship with general manager Dan Duquette soured, especially after Duquette publicly backed volatile outfielder Carl Everett after a September 2000 dispute with Williams. Red Sox fans routinely disparaged him on the Internet, using the epithet "Dumy." When the Red Sox — depleted by injuries — slumped in August 2001, Duquette fired Williams. The club then lost 27 of 43 games under Duquette's appointee, Joe Kerrigan. Williams finished his tenure as Red Sox manager with a record of 414 wins and 352 losses.[2]

Houston Astros and Philadelphia Phillies

In 2002, Williams became manager of the Houston Astros over candidates Jim Fregosi and Tony Pena. The Astros fell short by one game for the NL Central title to the Chicago Cubs, losing six of their last nine games. However, expectations were raised in the offseason when ownership signed pitchers Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte. The 2004 season did not get off to a great start for Williams, and they went into the All-Star break at 44-44 after losing five of seven games in their last road trip before returning to Houston for the break. Williams was assigned to serve as a National League coach at the 2004 All-Star Game, held in Houston. When he was announced to the crowd at Houston's Minute Maid Park, he was greeted with jeers; the next morning, general manager Gerry Hunsicker fired him, citing the past week as a turning point. He was replaced by Phil Garner, who Hunsicker had contacted about taking the job earlier. [3]

Garner would lead the Astros to the 2004 National League Championship Series, but they fell one game short of going to Houston's first ever World Series (the following year, Garner led the Astros to the World Series). Williams finished with a record of 215 wins and 197 losses.[2]

On October 16, 2006, Williams was named the Philadelphia Phillies bench coach[4] and continued with that role through the Phillies 2008 World Series championship season. Williams decided not to return to his position for the 2009 season. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said, "As far as I know, it's not like that he left on a bad note."[5]

Managerial record

As of February 13, 2014
TeamYearRegular seasonPostseason
GamesWonLostWin %FinishWonLostWin %Result
TOR1986 1628676.5314th in AL East
TOR1987 1629666.5932nd in AL East
TOR1988 1628775.5373rd in AL East
TOR1989 361224.333fired
TOR total522281241.53800
BOS1997 1627884.4814th in AL East
BOS1998 1629270.5682nd in AL East13.250Lost ALDS (CLE)
BOS1999 1629468.5802nd in AL East46.400Lost ALCS (NYY)
BOS2000 1628577.5252nd in AL East
BOS2001 1186553.551fired
BOS total766414352.54059.357
HOU2002 1628478.5192nd in NL Central
HOU2003 1628775.5372nd in NL Central
HOU2004 884444.500fired
HOU total412215197.52200

Relatives in baseball

Williams' son, Brady, with the Southwest Michigan Devil Rays in 2006

Jimy Williams is not to be confused with James Bernard Williams (1926–2016), no relation, a Canadian former minor league outfielder and manager and MLB coach with the Astros and Baltimore Orioles. He is, however, a distant relative of Red Sox great Ted Williams, who was his staunch advocate when he managed in Boston.

Two of Jimy Williams' sons are former professional baseball players who are now minor league managers. Brady was chosen by the Red Sox in the 45th round of the 1999 Major League Baseball draft and had a seven-year playing career as an infielder in minor league and independent league baseball. He has been a manager in the Tampa Bay Rays' system since 2009. Since 2019 he has been manager of the Durham Bulls, the Rays' Triple-A affiliate in the International League.[6] Shawn Williams also had a seven-year playing career (2006–12), including four years in the Tampa Bay organization; primarily an infielder, he played every position but center fielder. The 2019 manager of the Double-A Reading Fightin Phils, Shawn has been a skipper in the Phillies' farm system since 2014.[7]


  1. "Jimy Williams Batting 1966 Gamelogs". Archived from the original on July 18, 2012. Retrieved November 10, 2008.
  2. "Jimy Williams". Baseball Reference. Retrieved February 13, 2014.
  3. Ortiz, Jose de Jesus (2006). Houston Astros: Armed and Dangerous. Sports Publishing. p. 45-48. ISBN 1-59670-071-8.
  4. "Jimy Williams Phillies profile". Retrieved November 10, 2008.
  5. "Jimy Williams Leaves". Retrieved November 10, 2008.
  6. Durham Bulls (19 January 2019)
  7. Reading Fightin Phils (8 February 2019)
Sporting positions
Preceded by El Paso Diablos manager
Succeeded by
Preceded by Salt Lake City Gulls manager
Succeeded by
Deron Johnson
Moose Stubing
Preceded by
Franchise established
Springfield Redbirds manager
Succeeded by
Hal Lanier
Preceded by
Jackie Moore
Toronto Blue Jays third base coach
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Roy Majtyka
Atlanta Braves third base coach
Succeeded by
Bobby Dews
Preceded by
Gary Varsho
Philadelphia Phillies bench coach
Succeeded by
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