RENO EVENING GAZETTE, JANUARY 10,1962
by the SportingNews.
Shortstop Leader, Batting
Champ Wins Vote
Transcribed by : Tina Easley
Don Williams, shortstop sparkplug of the champion
Reno Silver Sox,has been chosen "Athlete of the
Year" for 1961 by the Sierra-Nevada Sportswriters
and Broadcasters Association,
Williams, who batted .363 to win the league title,
was previously named the California League's Most
Valuable Player of 1961 and recently was chosen for
a national all-minor league team bythe Sporting News.
"The Reno writers and broadcasters
made their selection their weekly meeting Tuesday.
The Athlete of the Year
plaque will be given to Williams at the annual dinner,
be held Sunday, Feb. 18, in the
Shore Room of the Holiday Hotel.
Donnie might also qualify for a "comeback of the year" award.
In five previous professional seasons, Williams had been
slick fielder but had never achieved higher than a .283 batting
mark. In 1960,he hit only .246 at Green Bay of the Three-Eye League.
Also honored banquet
But with the Silver Sox last season, the Paragould, Ark., native
became a solid stickman. He led the league in batting average,
runs (1321,hits (197),and times at -bat; was third in total bases
(291)and doubles (32)and hit iome runs. He was above .400
Briefly at midseason, and battled huskier teammates.
Keno's 1961 team won both halt-season pennants and set a
club record for victories, 97 against 43 losses.
Of German , Irish and English descent, Williams played baseball,
basketball and football at Green County Technical High, in
Paragould,Ark. At 18, he was signed to a pro contract by Bill
Schweppe and Pete Resier, former Brooklyn Dodge Star for the Los Angeles Dodgers
An older brother and two uncles formerly played pro ball.
In 1958 and 1959 he led his league in fielding by shortstops
and was an all-Midwest League Kokomoin 1958.