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Earl Williams
Catcher / First baseman / Third baseman
Born: July 14, 1948 (1948-07-14) (age 61)
Newark, New Jersey
Batted: Right Threw: Right 
MLB debut
September 13, 1970 for the Atlanta Braves
Last MLB appearance
September 25, 1977 for the Oakland Athletics
Career statistics
Batting average     .247
Home runs     138
Runs batted in     457
Career highlights and awards
  • Rookie of the Year in 1971

Earl Craig Williams, Jr. (born July 14, 1948 in Newark, New Jersey) is a former third baseman, first baseman, and catcher in Major League Baseball who played with the Atlanta Braves (1970-72, 1975-76), Baltimore Orioles (1973-74), Montreal Expos (1976), and Oakland Athletics (1977). He batted and threw right-handed.

Signed by Atlanta as an amateur free agent in 1966, Williams debuted with the Braves in the 1970 season. A powerful slugger, Williams had come up from the minor leagues as a third baseman/first baseman/left fielder, but the Atlanta Braves management converted him into a catcher. Although he never developed into more than a poor defensive catcher, he made the Major League Baseball All-Star Game at this position.

Williams's most productive season came in 1971, when he posted career-highs in batting average (.260), home runs (33), and runs batted in (87), and he was elected as the Rookie of the Year in the National League, getting 18 of 24 votes, with the others going to the Philadelphia Phillies' first baseman, Willie Montanez.

In his second year, Williams hit .258, with 28 home runs and 87 RBI while splitting time between catching and playing first base and third base as well. Prior to the 1973 season, Atlanta sent him to Baltimore in the same trade that brought Pat Dobson, Dave Johnson, and Johnny Oates to the Braves.

With the Orioles, Williams continued to hit for power, but through 1973 and 1974 his production went into a steady decline, as his home run totals had slipped from 28 to 22 to 14 while his RBI totals dropped from 87 to 83 to 52. After the 1974 season, he was traded back to the Atlanta Braves. The decline continued, as he managed just 11 home runs and 50 RBI. He was also catching less and playing first base more. By now, his slugging average had also declined for five consecutive seasons, from a full-season high of .491 in 1971 to .360 in 1975.

In mid-1976, Williams was sold to the Expos, and his numbers bounced back somewhat, as he hit 17 home runs and drove in 55 runs. It was not enough to keep him in Montreal, as the Expos released him during spring training in 1977. He was signed by Oakland a few days later, and he finished his major league career there as a part-time catcher and designated hitter.

In his eight-year career, Williams was a .247 hitter with 138 home runs and 457 RBI in 889 games played.

See also


External links

Preceded by
Carl Morton
National League Rookie of the Year
Succeeded by
Jon Matlack


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