This Week in 1960s Baseball
(February 21, 1969) After nearly a decade out of organized baseball, Hall of Famer Ted Williams was today named manager of the Washington Senators.
Williams became the fifth manager in the history of the expansion franchise. He replaced Jim Lemon, who guided the Senators to a 65-96 finish in 1968, his only season at the helm.
For Williams, it was his first managing assignment at any level of organized ball.
Williams played his entire 21-season major league career with the Boston Red Sox. He was a two-time American League Most Valuable Player, a six-time AL batting champion, and won the Triple Crown twice. He remains the last major league batter to hit .400 in a season, batting .406 for the Red Sox in 1941. He retired from baseball following the 1960 season.
The Washington Senators had never experienced a winning season until Williams arrived. He led the Senators to an 86-76 record in his maiden campaign. It would be the team’s last winning season under Williams, and the team’s only winning season in Washington. The Senators moved to Texas to become the Rangers in 1972, Williams’ last season as the team’s manager, and his last season in baseball.