COOPERSTOWN, N.Y., JULY 25 -- During his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame today, Billy Williams urged owners of major league teams to hire minority managers and executives.
He was inducted with Catfish Hunter and Ray Dandridge. Williams and Dandridge are black.
Williams, the Chicago Cubs' batting coach, said he is prepared "for the days when I will be considered for a managerial or front-office position."
Commissioner Peter V. Ueberroth introduced Hunter as a player "who earned the distinction of playing for both Charlie Finley and George Steinbrenner, which is enough in itself to put a player in the Hall of Fame."
Hunter thanked Finley, former owner of the A's, for giving him a chance to play and Steinbrenner, owner of the Yankees, for giving him "enough money to retire after five years." Finley and Steinbrenner were there.
Ueberroth called Dandridge, 73, "the greatest third baseman never to play in the majors." Dandridge played just about everyplace else, even with Class AAA Minneapolis. At 37, he was the American Association's MVP in 1950. He was a teammate there of Willie Mays, until Mays was summoned to the New York Giants.
"The only thing I didn't like about Willie," Dandridge said, "was the manager had me batting behind Willie and, every time he banged one, the pitcher would knock me down . . .
"I wanted to put just one foot in the majors and play for even one week, but I never got the call."
But, he concluded, "I love the game of baseball and today it looks like the game loves me."
Mays won the annual golf tournament for Hall of Famers. He hadn't been here since inducted in 1979. Other Hall of Famers who showed up: Stan Musial, Monte Irvin, Ralph Kiner, Enos Slaughter, Charlie Gehringer, Robin Roberts, Rick Ferrell, Cool Papa Bell, Lefty Gomez, Johnny Mize, Warren Spahn, Bill Dickey, Ernie Banks, Lou Boudreau, Ted Williams, Roy Campanella, Joe Sewell, Judy Johnson, Bobby Doerr, Pee Wee Reese, Al Lopez, Bob Lemon, ex-umpire Jocko Conlan and former commissioner Happy Chandler.
In the only controversy, Steinbrenner told NL President Bart Giamatti he'd pull his Yankees out of Monday's traditional exhibition game unless he could use a designated hitter. Giamatti said he had no choice but to give in. The NL team, the Atlanta Braves, won't use a DH and Giamatti reaffirmed his stance against DHs.