Sunday, July 10, 2011

RIP - Wes Covington and Dick Williams

Former Milwaukee Braves' and Philadelphia Phillies' outfielder Wes Covington passed away on July 4th from cancer at age 79 in Edmonton, Alberta.

Covington was signed by the Boston Braves in 1952, and played for the Braves from 1956 - 1961, including all 14 World Series games against the Yankees in 1957 and 1958. Wes played for 4 teams during the 1961 season (Braves, White Sox, Athletics, Phillies) finally settling in as the Phillies' regular rightfielder on July 22nd. The following season he moved over to left field, and was the primary starter there through the end of 1965.

Covington's slugging ability was such that Topps featured him on the 1966 "Power Plus" card, even though he had been traded to the Cubs in January 1966. After a month with the Cubs, Wes finished out the season with the Dodgers, including another World Series appearance.

After retiring from baseball, Covington moved to Alberta and ran a sporting goods business. He was also involved with Edmonton's minor-league baseball team in the 1980s.

Dick Williams passed away on July 7th, at age 82.

He played for the Brooklyn Dodgers for parts of 1951-56, but his most significant playing time came during his time with the Orioles and Athletics from 1956-1961. Williams finished his playing career with the Red Sox in 1963-64.

His real success came as a manager, beginning with the 1967 Red Sox. In his first season as a big-league skipper, he took the perennial doormats to the World Series. Because of his managerial style, he tended to wear out his welcome, so after 3 seasons in Boston, it was on the Oakland Athletics, where his teams made 3 World Series appearances, winning twice. He also managed the Angels, Expos, Padres, and Mariners, in a career that ended in 1988.

Williams later worked in the front office for the Yankees, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008.