Chicago Cubs: The Heroes of Wrigley Series presents Billy Williams

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COOPERSTOWN, NY - JULY 27: Hall of Famer Billy Williams is introduced during the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony at Clark Sports Center on July 27, 2014 in Cooperstown, New York. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
COOPERSTOWN, NY - JULY 27: Hall of Famer Billy Williams is introduced during the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony at Clark Sports Center on July 27, 2014 in Cooperstown, New York. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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07 Sep 2001: Manager Don Baylor #25 and coach Billy Williams #26 address an umpire during the game against the Atlanta Braves at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Braves won 3-2. DIGITAL IMAGE. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Allsport
07 Sep 2001: Manager Don Baylor #25 and coach Billy Williams #26 address an umpire during the game against the Atlanta Braves at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Braves won 3-2. DIGITAL IMAGE. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Allsport /

Chicago Cubs: An all-time face of the franchise

Following his playing days, Williams remained close to baseball and to the Chicago Cubs.  In 1978, he became a minor league instructor for the team and, in 1980, was promoted to a Major League coach.  Williams sporadically held coaching positions with the team for the remainder of the century.  After leaving the Cubs in 1982 for a coaching staff position with the Athletics from 1983 to 1985, he returned to the Cubs for the 1986 and ’87 seasons, then again from 1992 to 2001.

In 1987, he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.  A few weeks later, in August, his No. 26 was retired by the Cubs.  He became only the second Cub to receive the honor, joining his former teammate and friend Banks.

During the 2010 season, the Cubs paid tribute to Williams by unveiling a bronze statue of him outside of Wrigley Field.  Banks, Santo, Jenkins, Beckert, Hundley and Don Kessinger surrounded Williams during the ceremony.

"“You could see how much fun we had in the ‘60s,” Williams reminisced.  “It’s a joy to know these individuals.”"

The following season, in 2011, he was named as a member of the Hall of Fame’s Veterans Committee.  The Veterans Committee is a body that provides an opportunity to all individuals who are eligible for induction but ineligible for consideration by the Baseball Writers’ Association of American (BBWAA).  This allowed Williams to build a strong case and add traction to the long-awaited posthumous induction of his dear friend and former teammate, Ron Santo, who died the year before.

The ever-consistent Williams finished his Hall of Fame career as a six-time All-Star, playing in 2,488 games, hitting 426 home runs, driving in 1,475 runs, tallying 2,711 hits and scoring 1,410 runs with a .290 batting average.

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While Billy Williams eventually became a household name, it wasn’t as synonymous as other ‘60s counterparts like Willie Mays, Carl Yastrzemski, Hank Aaron, Frank Robinson or Roberto Clemente, and was often overshadowed by his charismatic teammates, Banks and Santo, during his playing days.  However, his consistency and contributions are no longer overlooked in Chicago as he has cemented himself as one of the all-time faces of the Cubs.

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