Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Billy Williams statue is well-deserved
By Bruce Levine
The Billy Williams statue that now occupies the northwest corner of Addison and Sheffield is appropriately inscribed “Sweet Swinging Billy Williams”.
No baseball player ever had a prettier swing, and no Cub has ever been a more humble hero than the guy Cubs’ teammates called “Whistler”, for his hometown of Whistler, Ala.
“I wasn’t a fiery player,” Williams said. “But I did play 117 games [in a row] because I loved the game of baseball.”
Cubs owner Tom Ricketts and his family have made some good moves in their first year of ownership, but none better than commissioning a statue for Williams.
“It’s easy to take something for granted that you see almost daily,” Ricketts said. “We see Billy talking to players in the dugout, on the field during batting practice, and we see him helping young players on the field in Arizona during spring training. His knowledge of baseball is second to none, and his stories are the best.”
Williams has been an advisor, mentor and best friend to the Cubs’ organization and its employees for most of the last 52 years in and around the game.
If Ernie Banks is Mr. Cub, then Billy Williams is the soul of Wrigley Field. The place wouldn’t be the same without him, and now his likeness will great Cubs fans as long as baseball is played at 1060 W. Addison.