ARLINGTON -- Hall of Fame manager Dick Williams left a lasting impression on the baseball world for his intense approach to the game, and his death hit home for several within the Texas Rangers organization.
Williams, who played with the Fort Worth Cats in 1948-50 and in 1955, died Thursday at the age of 82 from a ruptured aortic aneurysm at a hospital near his home in Henderson, Nev. The Rangers had a moment of silence before Thursday's game against the Oakland Athletics.
Rangers president and CEO Nolan Ryan, manager Ron Washington, bench coach Jackie Moore and bullpen coach Andy Hawkins all had fond memories of Williams.
"He was a good baseball man who knew the game and had a passion for it," said Ryan, who played under Williams with the California Angels from 1974-76. "As a manager, he knew how the game was supposed to be played and expected the team he put on the field to play in that manner."
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Washington played for Williams in 1989 with the West Palm Beach Tropics of the now-defunct Senior Professional Baseball Association.
One moment stands out for Washington. During a game, Williams wanted Washington to advance a runner from second to third, although he wasn't going to give Washington the bunt sign.
"I walked away saying you ain't setting me up, so I went up and bunted," Washington said. "And [Williams] was laughing in the dugout when I got back. That's what he was like.... He was very tough on you mentally, and he wanted you to think."
Moore also had a memorable experience with Williams when he was working his way up the coaching chain in 1968 with Class A Jamestown, an affiliate with the Boston Red Sox when Williams was managing them.
Moore sat in media sessions with Williams, and quickly learned what was expected of a big league manager.
"I got an earful and an eyeful every day, especially after a loss," Moore said. "But it was an honor for him to do that for me. He was all about baseball, and an old-school manager. He just had that feel for the game of baseball."
Hawkins remembers coming up through the San Diego Padres organization when Williams was manager from 1982-86. Hawkins laughed when he thought back on a conversation he had with Williams during his rookie season in '82.
Hawkins gave up a hit with an 0-2 count, missing his desired down-and-away location. Williams came out to the mound, and the exchange wasn't pleasant. Hawkins explained that he "tried" to throw it down and away.
"He said, 'Son, we don't try up here. I've got a whole minor league system full of kids that are trying,'" Hawkins said of the conversation. "He said, 'We get it done here or we go back to the minors.'"
Williams eventually gained a liking for Hawkins, who was a member of the pitching staff when the Padres won the National League pennant in 1984.
"Coming in, he was a hard guy for a young guy to break in with," Hawkins said. "But as a veteran, he was a great guy to have. He got the most out of his people and demanded the most out of his people.
"He was a winner."
Follow Drew Davison on Twitter @drewdavison.