Las Vegas resident, Dick Williams, a Hall of Fame manager for the Oakland A's, San Diego Padres, the Boston Red Sox and several other teams died today in Las Vegas.
From the LVRJ: Dick Williams, the fiercely competitive, sharp-tongued Hall of Fame manager who led the Oakland Athletics to World Series titles in 1972 and 1973, died Thursday at his Las Vegas home from what was believed to be an aneurysm. He was 82.
Williams, who retired to Las Vegas in 1991, is the second manager in major-league history to win pennants with three different teams -- the Boston Red Sox, Athletics and San Diego Padres. He had a 21-year major league managing record of 1,571-1,451 (.520). He also managed the California Angels, Montreal Expos and Seattle Mariners.
The fraternity of major league managers is small and the fraternity of successful managers is tiny in comparison. Dick Williams probably ranks in the top 15 of the best all time managers in the major leagues.
R.I.P., Dick Williams.
John Mackey also died today. He was a Hall of Fame tight end for the Baltimore Colts. From ESPN: Pro Football Hall of Famer John Mackey, who helped revolutionize the position of tight end as an offensive weapon, died on Wednesday. He was 69 and had suffered from dementia for years.
Mackey played 10 seasons for the Baltimore Colts and San Diego Chargers, catching 331passes for 5,236 yards and 38 touchdowns. As president of the NFL Players Association after the AFL-NFL merger, he fought to improve players' pension benefits and access to free agency.
Enshrined in 1992, Mackey was the second player elected to the Hall of Fame as a tight end. He played in five Pro Bowls and was named All-NFL at his position three times.
In a statement posted by NFL spokesman Greg Aiello on Twitter, commissioner Roger Goodell called Mackey "one of the great leaders in NFL history, on and off the field."
"He was a Hall of Fame player who redefined the tight end position. He was a courageous advocate for his fellow NFL players as head of the NFL Players Association," Goodell said. "He worked closely with our office on many issues through the years, including serving as the first president of the NFL Youth Football Fund. He never stopped fighting the good fight. Our thoughts are with Sylvia and the Mackey family on the loss of our good friend."
In a pair of Twitter entries, current NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith paid tribute to Mackey.
"John Mackey has inspired me and will continue to inspire our players. He will be missed but never forgotten" reads a post on Smith's Twitter page.
I remember watching Mackey playing with Johnny Unitas in the 1960's and he was one of my favorite non-Green Bay Packer players of all time. R.I.P. John Mackey.