Category Archives: Billy Williams Collection

1969 HEADLINE: Today Is ‘Billy Williams Day’!!!!

1969 HEADLINE: Today Is ‘Billy Williams Day’!!!!

While an event of this caliber is usually reserved for a player in his final year or final home stand as a member of the home team, I guess that the Cubs organization thought so much of Mr. Williams that they chose this day to honor him.

So, 41 years later I will carry on this tradition. Today, I will celebrate the main player that brought me back to the hobby of collecting baseball cards – ‘Sweet Swinging Billy Williams’!!

The below pin was handed out to all in attendance at Wrigley back on June 29, 1969.

Happy Birthday ‘Sweet Swinging’ Billy Williams!!

Happy Birthday ‘Sweet Swinging’ Billy Williams!!

Billy Williams celebrates his 75th birthday today!!!

One of the most beloved Chicago Cubs of all-time, Williams was a fan favorite from his debut back in 1959 and is still a face of the franchise 50 years later. His charisma, talent, and devotion to the game and city of Chicago have kept Williams in the public eye more than 30 years after his retirement.

On a personal note, Billy Williams is a large reason as to why this blog exists. When his autobiographyhy came out a few years ago I knew I wanted a copy. That book triggered a domino effect that is still moving today. The book re-kindled my passion for baseball cards which led me to Fergie and Andre and Rickey and Dave. And all of that led me to ’30-Year Old Cardboard’.

Thank you Mr. Williams. I never got to see you play in person. I have met you one time. Yet you have impacted my life more than you will ever know.

Happy Birthday Billy Williams!!!

Williams Photo

Billy Williams 2013 Topps Gypsy Queen – FINALLY!!!

Billy Williams 2013 Topps Gypsy Queen – FINALLY!!!

In my opinion, it took Topps waaaaaay too long to put Billy Williams back into a base card.  Yes, he has had a few relic and certified autographed cards recently, but as a budgeted collector, it has been a while since I was able to afford a ‘new’ card of Mr. Williams.

Thankfully, that all changed when he was added to the 2013 Topps Gypsy Queen checklist.

Here is the card:

VINTAGE WILLIAMS

I really like the image that Topps selected for this card.  It features a very young Williams, and the background is reminiscent of the early 1960’s as well.

Williams does not have a White paper or Blue paper framed card in the GQ set, so now I need to shift my focus to the minis…

Stay tuned.

Billy Williams 2012 Panini Cooperstown – Base Card

Billy Williams 2012 Panini Cooperstown – Base Card

Well, I have finally reached the end of my stack.

With the posting of this card, I have officially shown off each and every base card from the 2012 Panini Cooperstown set that I own.

This is the card of ‘Sweet Swinging’ Billy Williams.

Take a look:

VINTAGE WILLIAMS

This card was sent to me by loyal ’30-YOC’ reader, Quentin.  Q and I have traded cards over the years multiple times.  He knows what I like, and I know what he likes.

We both like this card.  But I think that I can speak for Q when I say that we both would like this card even more if it featured Williams’ signature sweet left-handed swing…  Crop it, photo-shop it, whatever – just give me one more picture of that sweet lefty stroke!!!!

Thanks Q, I owe you one!!!

Finally, I Got My Signed Billy Williams Chicago Cubs Mini Batting Helmet. Come Check It Out!!!

Finally, I Got My Signed Billy Williams Chicago Cubs Mini Batting Helmet.  Come Check It Out!!!

For more than 24 months I have been seeking out this item.

And I tried multiple routes – from organized signings to consignment deals to purchasing online to Ebay.

And no matter how I tried to get this going, I failed.  Either the timing was not right, the pricing was way too high, or a reason to pass was strong.

Ever since I started building a collection of signed mini-helmets for my collection, I have wanted to add Billy Williams to it.  The Ebay search was save in ‘My Ebay’ for more than 24 months.  And with it came a lot of over-priced, but beautiful, items for me to drool over.

Many were priced too high, and none of the sellers were willing to listen to my offers.

So, I played the waiting game.  And I waited an awful long time…

But, just like most of my ‘big-ticket’ conquests, the wait eventually paid off and I scored!!

I am now the proud owner of this mini-helmet:

WILLIAMS MINI HELMET

Signed perfectly by the Hall of Famer, this helmet is a fantastic addition to my collection.  And it rests comfortably next to my Andre Dawson and Fergie Jenkins helmets.

Patience pays off again.  And I certainly did not have to risk quality on this one – she is a beauty!!!

Billy Williams 2001 Fleer ‘Greats Of The Game’ Certified Autographed Baseball Card

Billy Williams 2001 Fleer ‘Greats Of The Game’ Certified Autographed Baseball Card

You will not believe what I paid for this card.  Seriously, you will not believe me…

It has been more than a year since I added a signed Billy Williams card to my collection.  It is has nothing to do with availability, and everything to do with focus.

But, when I saw this one, I was not going to let it get by me.  Especially with the price tag that was on it…

Have a look:

AUTO BILLY WILLIAMS

This card comes from the 2001 Fleer ‘Greats Of The Game’ set, and as you can see it features a perfect Billy Williams signature.

I have always been a fan of this set, as the images used are bright, bold, and lead from the card’s surface.

This card is a great addition to my Billy Williams player collection.  I am thrilled to bring home another autograph of #26.

Oh, as for the price???  Just $6.00!!  I could not believe it – the seller must have needed cash quick because he/she listed a bunch at very cheap prices.  I was able to grab this one before anyone else!!

YES!!!

1987 HEADLINE: Billy Williams Elected To Baseball Hall Of Fame

1987 HEADLINE: Billy Williams Elected To Baseball Hall Of Fame

‘Sweet Swinging Billy Williams’ was the heart and soul of the Chicago Cubs outfield for sixteen major league seasons.  A player that owned one of the best left-handed swings in the history of the game, Williams was dynamic at the plate.  For his career, he connected for 2,711 hits with 434 doubles, 428 home runs, 1,475 RBI, and 1,419 runs scored.  A Rookie of the Year award winner and 6-time All-Star, Williams also finished as a runner-up for the MVP award twice.

Williams was voted into the Hall of Fame on his sixth ballot.  He collected 354 of 413 votes cast.

1961 HEADLINE: Cubs’ Billy Williams Earns National League Rookie Of The Year Award

1961 HEADLINE: Cubs’ Billy Williams Earns National League Rookie Of The Year Award

On this day in 1961, Billy Williams was awarded with the Rookie of the Year award in the National League.

In that ’61 campaign, Williams starred in 146 games for the Chicago Cubs.  And once he earned that starting job in left field, he kept it for fourteen years!!!

During his ROY season, Williams hit .278 while collecting 147 hits.  In a display of his all-around offensive skills, ‘Sweet Swinging Billy Williams’ connected for 20 doubles and 25 home runs.  He also scored 75 runs while driving in 86.  And amazingly, as a 23-year old rookie, he only struck out 70 times in 584 plate appearances.

Happy Anniversary Mr. Williams!!!

Billy Williams 2007 Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts – ‘A Stitch In Time’ – Game Used Jersey Card

Billy Williams 2007 Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts – ‘A Stitch In Time’ – Game Used Jersey Card

Not a bad score this time around.  As a matter of fact, I have added more game-used relic cards of Billy Williams to my collection in 2012 than base cards.

I’ll have to change that as I would really like to be able to finish of my PC of Williams.  Maybe I can make that a reality in 2013.

As for the newest card in my Billy Williams collection, it is from the 2007 Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts set.  And the ‘Stitch In Time’ theme is a sweet one.

Have a look at the card:

I told you it was nice!

Billy Williams Has Been Traded?? – You’ve Got To Be Kidding Me!!!

Billy Williams Has Been Traded?? – You’ve Got To Be Kidding Me!!!

Sad but true.  On this day back in 1974 Billy Williams was traded by the Chicago Cubs to the Oakland Athletics for Darold Knowles, Bob Locker, and Manny Trillo.

It was a sad day in Chicago as one of the Cub’s all-time greatest players was shipped away during a rebuilding process.  The man that had occupied left field for the Cubs for the last 16 seasons was gone.  Billy Williams’ 16 year career as a Chicago Cubs player was over!!!

Williams played the final 2 years of his career with Oakland and still put up respectable numbers for the A’s.  He batted just .230 but was able to hit 34 home runs and drive in 122 runs.  It wasn’t until this trade to the A’s that Williams was able to make the post-season.  In 1975 the A’s lost to the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS while Billy Williams went 0-for-7 in the series.

Personally for me, it is very hard to see Williams wear anything other than ‘Cubbie Blue’.  Although I never got to see him play live, I have seen plenty of highlights and have read books and articles about his amazing career and it always feels strange to me that his career ended in Oakland and not in Chicago.

But, as we all know, baseball is a business and players are treated as assets and not humans.  So, although I am saddened by how his career ended I am happy that Billy Williams was able to finally make it to the playoffs.

But this does look a little strange to me still…