Former National League Rookie of the year, Earl Williams passed away at 64. Williams passed away last Wednesday, at his home in Somerset N.J. There has been no official verdict on the cause of death, though he was diagnosed with acute leukemia last summer. Williams was with his family at the time.
Williams will be remembered the most as the 1971 National League’s Rookie of the Year, as Catcher. Here’s the kicker, Williams never played the position in the minor league, yet he owned the spot like no one else. Williams demonstration as a Catcher proved you don’t always need to have grounded knowledge on the position to rock it, but being an outstanding athlete does help.
Williams made a professional start as a pitcher, he was a decent pitcher, but the notion of him pitching was lost on the Atlanta Braves and was used in the outfield. Williams would be debuted with the Braves and batted a .368. Not bad.
In 1971, Williams started as the Braves third baseman. However by May, Williams, was moved to first baseman and eventually found his way as a Catcher. Williams had a rocky start as a Catcher; many players exploited his inexperience at the position. However, Williams found his flow eventually and started at the position in 72 games. Again, not bad for someone who had very little experience at that spot, not bad at all.
Williams was a great hitter as well. In his rookie year, he hit 33 home runs and 87 RBI’s, not giving this guy Rookie of the Year would’ve been a crime as well as not remembering Williams as one of the greatest MLB players of all-time.