Some of the Top Cards of 1976

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

1976 Topps #525 - Billy Williams

  • Billy Williams was signed by the Chicago Cubs in 1956. Williams progressed through the Cubs' farm system but he hit a snag in 1959. Billy was assigned to AA San Antonio and was so discouraged by the racial discrimination there that he was ready to quit and go back home. Cubs' scout Buck O'Neill, who had discovered Williams, went to San Antonio to encourage Williams to hang in there and continue playing.
  • Williams had brief trials with the Cubs in 1959 (.152 in 33 AB) and in 1960 (.277 in 47 AB). Billy came to Chicago to stay in 1961 and was named NL Rookie of the Year. Williams batted .278 with 25 HR and 86 RBI in '61.
  • Billy ran off a string of consistently good seasons. Williams batted .298 with 22 HR and 91 RBI in 1962 and made his first NL All Star team (he was 0 for 1 with an RBI in the second game). In 1963 Billy batted .286 with 28 HR and 95 RBI. Williams was an All Star again in 1964, started in LF, and was 1 for 4 with a solo home run. Billy batted .312 with 33 HR and 98 RBI in '64. Billy Williams - Above Average Player - October 1964 Baseball Digest.
  • In 1965 Williams made his third NL All Star team and grounded out in his only at bat. Billy led the NL with 164 games played and batted .315 with 34 HR and 108 RBI. Williams batted .276 with 29 HR and 91 RBI in 1966 and .278 with 28 HR and 84 RBI in 1967.
  • Billy returned to the All Star Game in 1968 and flied out in his only at bat. Williams batted .288 with 30  HR and 98 RBI in 1968. Billy Williams Proud of Line Drive Complex - August 1968 Baseball Digest. Billy batted .293 with 21 HR and 95 RBI in 1969. Billy Williams, Quiet Man Who Swings A Fast Bat - September 1969 Baseball Digest.
  • The 1970 season was one of Billy's better years. Williams finished second to Johnny Bench in NL MVP voting as he led the NL with 137 runs scored and 205 hits. Billy batted .322 with 42 HR and 129 RBI in '70. 
  • In 1971 Billy batted .301 with 28 HR and 93 RBI. Williams had  a long consecutive game streak snapped during the 1971 season. Billy played in 1,117 consecutive games from 1962-1971. Williams had the all-time longest consecutive games streak until Steve Garvey broke it by playing in 1,207 straight games from 1975-1983.
  • Williams had his last great season in 1972. He finished second in NL MVP voting (again behind Bench) as he led the NL with a .333 batting average. Billy hit 37 HR and had 122  RBI in '72. He also went 1 for 2 with a run scored in the 1972 All Star Game. Billy Williams: Baseball's Greatest Hitter - December 1972 Baseball Digest.
  • Billy made the NL All Star team for the last time in 1973 -- he started in RF and went 1 for 2. Williams batted .288 with 20 HR and 86 RBI in '73. Williams missed three weeks of the 1974 season with an injury and played in only 117 games. He batted .280 with 16 HR and 68 RBI in 1974 and after the season Williams was traded to the Oakland A's for three players. A's Trade 3 for Slugger Williams - Tri City Herald October 23, 1974.
  • Williams became the designated  hitter for the A's in 1975. He batted .244 with 23 HR and 81 RBI in the 1975 season and played in the postseason for the only time in his career. Billy went 0 for 7 in the 1975 ALCS. Billy Williams Finds A New Career in Oakland - August 1975 Baseball Digest.
  • Billy's last season was 1976. He batted .211 with 11 HR and 41 RBI. Williams was released by the A's after the 1976 season. Billy Williams Remembers The Glory Years - February 1977 Baseball Digest.
  • Williams was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1987 on his sixth try. 'Quiet Man' Billy Williams Belongs in the Hall of Fame - December 1985 Baseball Digest. The Cubs are due to unveil a statue of Billy outside of Wrigley Field on September 7.
  • Liked to face: Joe Hoerner (.520 in 25 AB); Jerry Reuss (.477 in 44 AB); Ron Herbel (.472 with 6 HR in 53 AB)
  • Hated to face: Jim Willoughby (.063 in 16 AB); Bert Blyleven (.067 in 15 AB); Howie Reed (.091 in 22 AB)


  1. Does his sleeve and helmet look airbrushed to you? That's the first time I've noticed that and I've had this card for a long time.

  2. Yeah like night owl said it looks as if his helmet and sleeve is done by airbrushed procedure. The color is lively.