On Monday, the Toronto Blue Jays took to social media to announce that Jimy Williams, a former manager of the club, passed away at the age of 80.
Williams, a native of Santa Maria, California, briefly played in the big leagues as an infielder but experienced the vast majority of his success in a coaching role. He joined the Blue Jays in 1980 as their third base coach and remained in that spot until the conclusion of the 1985 campaign.
From there, Williams was promoted to replace Bobby Cox as the Blue Jays' manager. He spent a total of three and a half years running the show in Toronto, finishing above .500 in each of the three full years he was managing. In 1986, the club finished 4th in the AL East with an 86-76 record, followed by a 96-66 showing in 1987 which resulted in a 2nd place finish in the division. In 1988, the club finished 87-75, good for 3rd.
After starting off the 1989 campaign at 12-24, Williams was fired from the position. He eventually wound up managing the division rival Boston Red Sox for four and a half years, making the playoffs twice but failing to make it past the ALCS either time.
During his time in professional baseball, Williams, a distant relative of the legendary Ted Williams, earned two World Series rings. In 1995, he was the Atlanta Braves' third base coach when they won it all, and he was the Philadelphia Phillies' bench coach when they won the Series in 2008.
Following the 2009 season, Williams did not make another return to coaching at the big league level, but it's easy to see why he wanted to quit while he was on top. All told, he wrapped up his managerial career with a 910-790 record, good for a win percentage of .535, which is nothing to scoff at. Making the postseason twice as a manager and earning two World Series rings as a coach was more than enough to result in a solid career.
All of us at Jays Journal extend our most sincere condolences to the Williams family in this difficult time. Rest in peace, Jimy.