March 19, 1969

Dick Williams’ final spring training as manager of the Red Sox didn’t much resemble his first.

Before the 1967 season, Williams was said to resemble a drill sergeant. It was his first season as a big league manager and he was determined to establish his authority. 

By 1969, training camp took on a more leisurely air. That seemed clear when, as reported by Harold Kaese in the Boston Globe, a bit of batting practice was cut short so players could participate in a golf tournament conducted by the Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce. 

“Let us say here that the energy saved here may prove invaluable to them in August. The intrasquad game canceled yesterday morning – because of a wet field and a golf tournament – may mean the winning of a doubleheader in September.”

Well, by September, Williams lapsed into his old autocratic self. When he engaged Carl Yastrzemski in a clash of personalities, it ended up costing him his job.

Yaz had owner Tom Yawkey behind him. Williams was fired with nine games left in the season.

For anyone wondering, Tony Conigliaro fired a 79 to win that spring training golf tourney.