Last summer, Jimmy Williams watched baseball from the Houston Astros dugout. Last weekend the former big league player and manager sat two rows behind homeplate as his son Shawn’s Thunder Bay Border Cats played the Waterloo Bucks in a college summer league game. The elder Williams made his pro debut in 1965 when Waterloo was part of the Boston Red Sox farm system in the Midwest League. He says he still remembers staying with a family in Waterloo along with another player. He says they traveled on a bus through the Midwest.After a brief career in the big leagues with the St. Louis Cardinals, Williams found himself back in the region. Williams starting in 1974 managed the Quad Cities team where he returned to Waterloo. He says the city was instrumental in his career as a player and a manager.Williams managed in the big leagues for the Blue Jays, Red Sox, and Astros for ten-and-a-half season, along with handling other coaching duties. He says this is the first time in 32 years he hasn’t had a uniform on. He says if someone wants him to do some instruction, he’d be open to that, but says right now he’s enjoying his family. Williams played summer baseball in places like the Northwoods League, and says the extra games can give players like his son the experience they need to reach the next level. He says they just need to play and the 68 games are more than any other league.
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