100 Greatest Phillies: 93 – Mitch Williams – Phillies Nation
100 Greatest Phillies

100 Greatest Phillies: 93 – Mitch Williams

Mitch Williams
Relief Pitcher
1991-1993

Career w/Phillies:
231.1 IP / 20-20 / 3.11 ERA / 218 K

When Williams arrived in Philadelphia, he was already one of baseball’s better closers, saving 36 games in 1989 for the Cubs. In his first two seasons in Philadelphia, “Wild Thing” posted ERAs of 2.34 and 3.78, not bad work (of course, his WHIPs of 1.336 and 1.642 are almost unbelievable for a successful pitcher). That set him up for the 1993 campaign, where he anchored a bullpen that was among baseball’s best. His 3.34 ERA (despite a 1.613 WHIP) established him as an elite closer for one of the game’s best teams. Of course, most of us will remember Williams not for the first 206 games of his Phillie career, but his final one. The home run he surrendered to Joe Carter to win the 1993 World Series etched him in history, and really, ended his baseball career. Today, of course, he’s highly respected as a baseball analyst. And Philly fans? They love him.

Comment: Whether he’s “Wild Thing” or “Mitchy-Poo,” Williams will always hold a soft spot in our hearts. In my opinion, no Phillie closer had better success in more dramatic situations. Sure, Brad Lidge is perfect and Jose Mesa has the save count, but nobody did it with more gusto than Mitch.

28 Comments

28 Comments

  1. JohnKruksLoveChild

    December 24, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    No one ever rocked a mullet as hard as Mitch Williams.

  2. john of Albuquerque

    December 24, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    I aged 20 years watching Mitch pitch. I chain smoked, prayed, cursed, cried and cheered. I felt like a wet dishcloth after every outing where Mitch pitched.

  3. Griffin

    December 24, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    Shaky pitcher, solid guy.

  4. Justin

    December 24, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    Who can honestly say as a Phillies player that they had one of the worst memories in Phillies history and be remembered for it, then be loved more from the city that dreads the memory. Mitch Williams is one of the most beloved Phillies in recent history for what he did on the mound and being able to come back and be an analyst of the team. That takes a lot of courage.

  5. Phil

    December 24, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    Mitch Williams ruined my childhood, and I hated him for many years, but now I’m over it, and I think he’s a great analyst. The guy knows baseball very very well.

  6. mike t

    December 24, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    I ruined my life when i was 16 and i will hate him for the rest of my life for blowing the world series. The Phillies eased the pain this year but he made me cry and i will never forgive him for that. I recently saw the joe carter bat at an exhibit and wanted to break the glass, take the bat, and burn it.

  7. mike t

    December 24, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    i mean He

  8. Phil

    December 24, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    I met a girl recently who is from a suburb of Kansas City and the town Joe Carter is from, and she knows him and is good friends with his daughter. She moved to Philly a few months ago, and she went to the parade in her Royals hat. When she told us she knew Joe Carter, we made fun of her and she didn’t understand why until we explained it to her.

  9. Mazinman

    December 24, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    I could not stand the sight of Mitch or Joe Carter for a long, long time. Still, a world series title heals all wounds.

  10. DD

    December 24, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    YO!

  11. Brooks

    December 24, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    I heard from LJ that everyone of the pitchers was spent by the WS that year. There was no gas left in the tank for anyone, let alone Mitch Williams.
    He was throwing the ball at 75 mph! Tops!
    Regardless, past is past, the guy is a terrific analyst now, funny and quite knowledgable.

  12. KM

    December 24, 2008 at 6:35 pm

    Mitch Williams gets a lot of the blame for the 1993 world series loss, but if you all remember he was pitching on fumes. Fregosi was throwing him out there damn near every game, and I put more of the blame on him. It is easy to see how people can make Williams the villian, but the blame shouldn’t all go to him.

    Williams is now a great baseball analyst, and a hilarious co-host on the WIP morning show.

  13. Kenny

    December 24, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    Mitch wasnt called wild thing for nothing… but a truely stand up guy…i live in the same town he lives in and see him often and he will be the first one to sit down and b.s. with you and buy you a beer. A true gentleman and not to mention one of the best characters this franchise has ever seen. I am glad to call him a Phillie and he is great on TV!

  14. Greg V.

    December 24, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    I loved Mitch’s style! Load the bases, then strike 3 guys out! He makes a mean salsa too!

    Cheers to Mitch Williams! One of my favorite sports personalities!

  15. MadSon

    December 24, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    I had him in my top 10, I loved him as a player and thought the fans were really hard on him after the series. He gave us everything he had and you really can’t ask for more then that. Not to mention I love the fact that he would take part in a charity softball game with Joe, talk about being at complete peace with your past.

  16. Tim Rich

    December 24, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    Greg V, you got that right. I remember Opening Day in 1989 when he gave up three singles to the Phillies then struck out Schmidt and two others. After the game he couldn’t stop talking about how he struck out Schmidt – even when they pointed out how he’d almost blown the 5-4 Cubs win by giving up three hits to start the 9th.

  17. Phils Are joedaddy

    December 24, 2008 at 11:59 pm

    Justin mentioned courage. I totally agree. The guy was literally run out of town in 93 and now is very well liked again as an analyst and producer of some fine salsa. To be able to make that turnaround is a testament to his (and our) character.

  18. Phils Are joedaddy

    December 25, 2008 at 12:00 am

    By the way, I am watching game 4 against the Dodgers on Comcast. What an incredibly exciting game.

  19. Chuck P

    December 25, 2008 at 1:19 am

    People needed a scapegoat for the failure of our beloved ’93 Phillies… Mitch Williams shouldered the blame because he loved this city. Not many guys leave this town with admiration; Mitch came back because he loves the passion. You have to respect that. Looking back, we can all agree that it wasn’t Wild Thing that lost the series, it was burnout… it takes a lot of energy for a less talented team to win and they couldn’t keep that up. I am glad that he has been welcomed back as a Philadelphian.

    So we went from Granny Hammer to Wild Thing… get your mind out of the gutter.

  20. Greg V.

    December 25, 2008 at 3:27 am

    Game 4 of the NLCS was a classic among classics. The Stairs home run should have earned him a spot on the top 100.

  21. Grrrumpy Miner

    December 25, 2008 at 7:57 am

    How ironic that Mitch Williams was ranked 93.I remember getting home from a funeral…um er a wedding,at the very second I turned on the TV,Joe Carter hit that shot into left.I can still hear Sean MacDonough yelling “The winners and still Champions,the Toronto Blue Jays”

  22. Phillies Phan SC

    December 25, 2008 at 8:36 am

    I held Mitch responsible for 15 years, until I finally watched the 1993 Sports Classic on ESPN (I taped it in 2003, but could not watch it until November 2008). Kruk brought up a good point – Not only were Andersen and Wiliams running on fumes (I love Larry though), but there were some hit batsmen and other plays which allowed Carter to bat again. In addition, as some of you said, Mitch is a stand-up guy… So for 15 years I blamed Mitch, but the Phillies were worn down in Game 6… Now, I hold more stock in Game 4 that we lost (the 15-14 game), than game 6 as we would have forced a Game 7 either way. Who cares though now, World ******* Champs.

  23. Steve

    December 25, 2008 at 9:18 am

    It’s a real credit to Mitch Williams’ personality that he’s become such a beloved figure in Philadelphia. Us Philly fans have been known to run people out of town for crimes much less significant than ending the Phillies chances at a rare World Series title. Mitch was given hell for a while, but I think the fact that he stuck through it earned the Phillies’ fans respect. A lesser man would have run away and never come back. Thanks for coming back Mitch!

  24. Robert Kreider

    December 25, 2008 at 11:50 am

    A good choice. My first memory of Mitch Williams was when he was pitching for the Cubs, came in to save the game and walked three Phillies to load the bases with no man out. We were down by 1 run. Mitch then proceeds to strike out the next three guys including Mike Schmidt. He carried us to the series that year and deserves recognition for it.

    On a side note, I started to come up with my own list of the top 100 Phillies and it’s kind of depressing. It’s seriously difficult to come up with 100 quality guys. I now understand why Botalico and Mesa made the list!

  25. Colin

    December 25, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    “I ruined my life when i was 16 and i will hate him for the rest of my life for blowing the world series. The Phillies eased the pain this year but he made me cry and i will never forgive him for that. I recently saw the joe carter bat at an exhibit and wanted to break the glass, take the bat, and burn it.”

    Seriously, dog? he ruined youre life? trust me, im as big a phils fan as the next guy, but i find it outrageous when people say stuff like this in regards to mitch williams. he threw a bad pitch, it happens. it obviously killed no one as much as him

  26. Richie Allen

    December 25, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    It would have been unthinkable for a Philly fan to like this guy for a couple of years after “the pitch”..
    But he is very knowledgable and funny too….I cant wait to hear his take on things.
    And he seemed to come along right at the time John Marzano went to the internet baseball stuff…
    I think Marzano was the one we loved to hear after games with his South Philly comedy,so he groomed us for the Mitch Williams goofyness,and we forgot about “the pitch”

  27. Brian

    March 24, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    These comments summarize what it means to be a true Philadelphia Sports fan! I LOVE IT. I like many others I couldnt stand “Wild Thing” after the pitch. Wow that hurt. BUT he was one that wore that uniform with pride and attitude! Thats what a true Philly Sports figure is, pride and ATTITUDE! As for the Pitch, I cant even say he threw a “Bad” pitch.

  28. Belva Wieser

    June 22, 2010 at 4:40 am

    Within the US it’s, nicely for now Do all that,just leave out the abuse and fowl language.

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