Walt 'No Neck' Williams dies of heart attack in Texas
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) Walt Williams, an outfielder who played for four major league teams in the 1960s and `70s and was best known for his nickname ''No Neck,'' has died.
His wife, Ester, said her husband died of a heart attack Saturday in Abilene. He was 72.
A contact hitter who rarely walked or struck out, Williams made it to the big leagues with the Houston Colt .45s in 1964, was sent back to the minors and returned in 1967 with the White Sox. He spent six seasons in Chicago, moved to Cleveland for 1973 and closed his big league career with two seasons with the New York Yankees.
Ester Williams says her husband got the nickname during his first year in the majors, though he wasn't thrilled with it. A coach who dubbed him ''No Neck'' told him people are often remembered because of their nicknames.
Ester Williams said her husband followed all sports, so much so that he regularly left the TV on and tuned to ESPN all night. He was full of energy all of his life, she said.
''I called him the Energizer Bunny,'' she said. ''He never was still. He always had to do something. He loved to be outside. He didn't like to be cooped up inside.''
Williams had a .270 big league batting average with 33 homers and 173 RBIs. His two best seasons were in Chicago. He was sixth in the AL with a .304 batting average in 1969, when he had 22 doubles, and batted .294 with 17 doubles, eight homers and 35 RBIs in 1971.
He had just 126 walks and 211 strikeouts in 2,555 plate appearances.
Walter Allen Williams was born in Brownwood, Texas, on Dec. 19, 1943. He was one of nine children..
Williams remained competitive long after his baseball-playing years. Whether it was playing cards, billiards or dominoes, Williams loved to hold the upper hand, longtime friend and Brownwood City Councilman Draco Miller told the Brownwood Bulletin.
''You could never beat him,'' he said. ''He knew what you would play before you played it.''
Funeral services were scheduled for Victory Life Church in Brownwood on Saturday.