Friday, March 30, 2012

Mutt Williams died 50 years ago today

Mutt Williams, pitcher

Minneapolis Millers: 1915-16
St. Paul Saints: 1923

b. July 31, 1892 @ Ozark, Arkansas
d. March 30, 1962 @ Fayetteville, Arkansas

Today we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of Mutt Williams who died after a protracted illness. He was a veteran of World War I, serving from 1917-18.

David Carter “Mutt” (or D. C.) Williams had something special going on when he first joined the American Association as a member of the Minneapolis Millers in 1915 at the age of 22. Appearing in 64 games, Williams posted a record of 29 wins, 16 losses with an ERA of 2.53 in 440.2 innings of work (nearly an all-time league record). He struck out 180 batters, just a shade away from the league lead which was held by St. Paul’s Bob Steele who whiffed 183.

Williams led the league in wins, games, innings, hits allowed (392), and bases on balls (164). But perhaps more importantly, the right-hander was a major factor in pushing the Millers to their fourth championship in 1915, their first since 1912.

As a Miller in 1916 he went 15-15 in 43 games.

He was a large man by the standards of the day, at 6’3”, 195 lbs.

Williams was a “Twin Cities Turncoat,” a label which applies to players who spent time with both the Minneapolis Millers and St. Paul Saints. His lone season in St. Paul in 1923 was a blip on his professional radar screen, but he was probably thrilled to to make it back to the double-A level, even though he appeared in only one game, which he lost.

All tolled, Williams had a professional career in baseball which extended from 1913-27, including a pair of seasons with the American League’s Washington Senators from 1913-14 in which he appeared in a combined six games.

His star shone in the minors where he spent 13 seasons, winning 163 games against 133 losses (.551), appearing in 433 games.

But he will remembered, first and foremost, for his performance in 1915 as a member of the Minneapolis Millers.

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