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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Dana Williams, Higher Level - 651

Dana Williams knew what his job was as hitting coach at single-A Lancaster in 1997, and that was to get his players to hit, he told The Los Angeles Daily News.

"I feel that my job is trying to build the confidence in the players. In baseball you try to look day-by-day. I like to look at it at-bat by at-bat," Williams told The Daily News. "I know these guys can hit, they wouldn't be at this level if they couldn't."

Williams that year was near the beginning of a more-than decade-long coaching career that saw him help his players hit well enough to make it to the next level, serving as hitting coach and as manager in the minors and independent ball.

Williams himself once hit well enough to hit at a higher level, the major league level. In a career that spanned a decade, though, his stay in the majors was brief, all of eight games.

Williams' professional career began in 1983, signed by the Red Sox as an amateur free agent, out of Enterprise-Ozark Community College in Alabama.

He split time that first year between short-season Elmira and single-A Winston-Salem, hitting .335 between them.

Williams made AA New Britain in 1985, then AAA Pawtucket in 1986, playing at Pawtucket each year after through 1989.

It was in June 1989, in Williams' seventh season as a pro, that he got his call to Boston. Ellis Burks was injured and a spot was open.

Over the next two weeks, Williams got into eight games, picking up six plate appearances. He got one hit, a double. He almost got a second hit, coming a foot, by his manager's estimation, from a home run June 26.

It was Williams' last year with the Red Sox, traded that August to the White Sox. He started the next year at AAA Vancouver, playing out the season with the Cubs at AA Charlotte. It was his last year in affiliated ball.

Williams is credited as playing independent ball in 1993, at Duluth, then in spring 1995 for replacement ball with the Pirates and independent ball at Sioux City in 1996.

"My dream was to play in the major leagues and I accomplished that," Williams told The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 1995, after he played the replacement spring with the Pirates. "But I wanted to play longer."

Williams started his coaching career by 1997, at Lancaster. He is most recently credited with coaching with the independent Washington Wild Things in Pennsylvania.

In 2000, back with the JetHawks, Williams was back helping another player out of a dry spell.

"Slumps are all mental," Williams told The Daily News. "I told him, 'You're not going through anything that any other ballplayer hasn't gone through, and I know you seem like your out on an island now, but it's going to come,"
1990 CMC Tally
Cards Featured: 878/880 - 99.8%
Players/Coaches Featured: 889
Made the Majors: 606 - 68%-X
Never Made the Majors: 283-32%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 270
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 163

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