Former Tigers reliever Frank Williams died last week at the age of 50.
Don’t remember him? He pitched for the Tigers during the dreadful 1989 season.
His line: 42 appearances, 71.2 IP, 3-3, 1 save, 3.64 ERA.
Williams’s life reads like a Hollywood fantasy. He was an orphan who grew up in foster homes in Seattle, but he made it to baseball’s major leagues, pitching for the San Francisco Giants, Detroit Tigers and Cincinnati Reds between 1984 and 1989. Over six seasons, he pitched 471.7 innings, had a 24-14 won-loss record with eight saves and an earned-run average of 3.00.
He earned $442,500 in 1988 and $425,000 in 1989. By the time he died last week, all that money was gone. He spent his last days bouncing around Victoria shelters and detox centres, a street-level alcoholic.
Be sure to read the entire story; it’s fascinating and heartbreaking.
(Hat-tip: Mr. Neyer.)