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Lip Man 1
03-07-2010, 07:07 PM
He was beloved by White Sox fans because he cared about the game and how it was played. Walt Williams wasn't the biggest physical specimen around but his heart kept him in the big leagues for ten years.

Walt was a part of two well known Sox clubs, in 1967 and 1972, and he talked about those days and a lot more with White Sox Interactive.

Walt talked about managers like Eddie Stanky and Chuck Tanner, he talked about the collapse in 1967, his contract situation with Ed Short, Dick Allen, being traded...and what happened after he broke up Stan Bahnsen's no hitter in 1973 when he was in Cleveland.

He's a great guy and was a good player. I hope you enjoy the interview.

http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/rwas/index.php?category=11&id=3909

Lip

Tragg
03-07-2010, 07:13 PM
Awesome Lip - look forward to reading it.

I'll never forget Red Rush and the "The little package of dynamite".

Noneck
03-07-2010, 09:15 PM
I remember in 68 he was sent down very early in the season. This was after getting only 1 start. He was optioned to Hawaii where I read he hit a homer which hit a bulls eye in the left field which I believe won him $1000 and soon after a spot on the Sox.

When he came back in 68 he brought back something strange and something I have never seen before or after. He separated his hands about 6 inches while holding the bat. I don't believe he hit a homer that year but had a good 2nd half doing this. I would have loved to know how he got that idea, at that time.

After the 68 year he stopped separating his hands and had more power but with his speed, great bunting ability and always looking over his shoulder for playing time, he never used the power he had.

Sir Walter never got the playing time he deserved. His stats were very similar vs. RH or LH. The most AB's he ever got was under 500 in 69 when he hit over .300.

From everything I have heard, Tanner was a good man but it still bothers me that he gave Pat Kelly (Leroys bro) the starting job in 72 over Walt.

I'll never forget Walter warming up the pitchers during the games he didn't play (which were way too many) while the catcher got his equipment on.
That was also the time when I could occasionally afford and get a box seat between 3rd and home in order to cheer Walter.

I also remember the personal crisis he went through with his son Tyrus. I prayed for both every night.

Thank you very much Lip for this one, it is cherished.

Lip did you ask Walter if the Sox ever contact him and have ever invited him to any Sox festivities?

Lip Man 1
03-07-2010, 09:37 PM
Noneck:

I gave the Sox his contact info and told them he'd be happy to come to a Sox Fest.

Lip

Sam Spade
03-07-2010, 09:48 PM
That was a great read. He sounds like a good man. Thanks.

DickAllen72
03-07-2010, 10:44 PM
Thanks, Lip! Walt Williams is one of my White Sox favorites.

StillMissOzzie
03-07-2010, 11:23 PM
Great interview, Lip. The 1967 team are one of the reasons I am a White Sox fan today, in large part because that year was the first pennant race I ever really paid attention to, and No Neck was a big part of that team.

SMO
:gulp:

waltwilliams
03-08-2010, 12:40 PM
Thanks for the great article. I remembered and learned a lot.

TDog
03-08-2010, 01:33 PM
I have the Walt Williams 1969 Topps card on my desk next to my computer. His helmet looks like something from a World War I trench, painted blue and outfitted with a Sox logo. He began pro ball playing in Modesto, California, while George Lucas was still lived in Modesto, but I don't know if Walt Williams was the inspiration for Luke Skywalker.

In Alaska, I worked for an editor who told me (after we somehow got on the topic) that he harassed Walt "No-Neck" Williams at a Texas League game in the mid-'sixties, throwing things at the outfielder and getting stuff thrown back at him.

Walt might not have been my favorite player when I came of age as a Sox fan, but if Carlos May was 1A, Walt was 1B. The thing, in retrospect, that I loved most about Walt was how he always seemed so happy to be playing baseball, despite personal hardship. While with the Sox, he had a son, Tyrus Carlos Williams (I always assumed the middle name was for Carlos May as opposed to the poet William Carlos Willaims), who was stricken with spinal meningitis at birth. The child died at the age of 3.

asindc
03-08-2010, 01:58 PM
I have the Walt Williams 1969 Topps card on my desk next to my computer. His helmet looks like something from a World War I trench, painted blue and outfitted with a Sox logo. He began pro ball playing in Modesto, California, while George Lucas was still lived in Modesto, but I don't know if Walt Williams was the inspiration for Luke Skywalker.

In Alaska, I worked for an editor who told me (after we somehow got on the topic) that he harassed Walt "No-Neck" Williams at a Texas League game in the mid-'sixties, throwing things at the outfielder and getting stuff thrown back at him.

Walt might not have been my favorite player when I came of age as a Sox fan, but if Carlos May was 1A, Walt was 1B. The thing, in retrospect, that I loved most about Walt was how he always seemed so happy to be playing baseball, despite personal hardship. While with the Sox, he had a son, Tyrus Carlos Williams (I always assumed the middle name was for Carlos May as opposed to the poet William Carlos Willaims), who was stricken with spinal meningitis at birth. The child died at the age of 3.

This is also the thing I remembered most about NoNeck, his enthusiasm for the game.

SI1020
03-08-2010, 09:02 PM
Walt who? As we get older not only do we become more irrelevant, but so do the heroes of our childhood and youth. Walt Williams was worth the price of admission himself and a reason to keep going to games and following the Sox at a time when there weren't a lot of positive things happening on the field. I especially liked him because I'm a short guy with a build like that too, and I always gave it my all. Just like Walt Williams. The White Sox should find a way to include him in the organization in some capacity, even if it's a minor one. The fans liked him back then, they'll like him again when they get to know him.

MikeW
03-08-2010, 09:47 PM
Thanks for the interview. During those awful 1968-70 years, No-neck was a shining light. He was fun to watch and even my Dad, who was a Pirates fan liked him. Walt was a 1b coach in the late 80's with the Sox.

NoNeckEra
03-08-2010, 09:59 PM
As you all can tell, I was a big fan.

Interestingly, I don't believe he was real fond of his nickname, though.

A good high school friend of mine was a bat boy for the Sox in '69 and he said, by far No Neck was the nicest of the Sox players and his favorite.

He's an interesting bridge between the Stanky and Tanner era's, having also played for a couple of pretty bad mgrs inbetween.

Good to hear his story and I too, would love to see him at a Sox function here in Chicago.

Noneck
03-08-2010, 10:32 PM
I was thinking and Roland Hemond is probably the only member of the Sox organization that has ever seen Walter play and remembers what a fan favorite he was. Maybe for Sox festivals, someone just looks through stats pages from that era and Little Walter fell through the cracks.

TDog
03-09-2010, 02:13 AM
...

Interestingly, I don't believe he was real fond of his nickname, though. ...

According to Carlos May, Walt Williams' teammates affectionately referred to him as "Neck."

white sox bill
03-09-2010, 05:22 PM
Great interview from WSI's version of Larry King. Thanks again!

PS Any idea when you might write a home page article for WSI? The two have been on there for 6 months.

wassagstdu
03-09-2010, 05:35 PM
I'll never forget the play I saw him make at Fenway in the late '60s. Williams was playing right field and I don't remember the situation (I don't think it was a rundown) but a wild throw came toward first from the left side and was headed to the dugout. Suddenly Williams, who had run in from right to back up the throw came out of nowhere and dove horizontally in front of the dugout to stop the ball. Walt Williams made Pete Rose look lazy.

He signed a ball for me in Baltimore many years later when he was a Sox coach. He signed very modestly and small, but the ball is still on my shelf. I still regret that I didn't take the opportunity to tell him how impressed I was by the enthusiasm he brought to the game.

Nellie_Fox
03-09-2010, 11:37 PM
Great interview from WSI's version of Larry King. Oh, please. Lip prepares for his interviews, and asks intelligent questions. Larry King...pfft.

TomBradley72
03-10-2010, 10:05 AM
I too loved Walt Williams...he immediately stood out as a high energy player...I can still remember him dropping down a bunt and sprinting down the 1st base line in his red pin stripes and red batting helmet in one of the first Sox games I ever attended.

I hope Brooks is reading this thread....would be great to see "No Neck" at the various Sox events, etc.

soxinem1
03-10-2010, 09:48 PM
He was beloved by White Sox fans because he cared about the game and how it was played. Walt Williams wasn't the biggest physical specimen around but his heart kept him in the big leagues for ten years.

Walt was a part of two well known Sox clubs, in 1967 and 1972, and he talked about those days and a lot more with White Sox Interactive.

Walt talked about managers like Eddie Stanky and Chuck Tanner, he talked about the collapse in 1967, his contract situation with Ed Short, Dick Allen, being traded...and what happened after he broke up Stan Bahnsen's no hitter in 1973 when he was in Cleveland.

He's a great guy and was a good player. I hope you enjoy the interview.

http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/rwas/index.php?category=11&id=3909

Lip

He was also a great guy when he coached with the White Sox in 1988. He was fun to watch hitting fungos and enjoyable to talk to.

Walter once gave my sister a ball and batting glove when she told him her brother (me) thought more players on those late 80's White Sox teams should play like he did.

I have always been a fan of the guys like Walt and Kirby Puckett that just loved playing the game.