Born: Nov 17, 1964
Known as "Wild Thing", Mitchell Steven Williams was probably the inspiration for the Ricky Vaughn character in the "Major League" movies. The lefthander had a dramatic throwing motion and a strong fastball which sometimes had trouble finding its way around the plate. In his prime, it wasn't unusual to see Williams load the bases and then wriggle his way out of trouble to get the save.
The native Californian first debuted with the Rangers in 1986 and appeared in a league-high 80 games. He was traded to the Cubs in a multi-player deal that included Jamie Moyer and Rafael Palmeiro. It was there his colorful persona was established with the thanks of WGN's national cable reach. Then he went to Philadelphia and helped the Phillies reach the 1993 World Series but proved the goat when Joe Carter hit a walk-off homer off of him to end that season. While in Philly, he was a constant target of boo birds and was dealt to the Astros before the 1994 season in exchange for Houston closer Doug Jones.
Williams blew the save on Opening Day and it went downhill from there. After starting with a 1-4 record and a 7.65 ERA (and six saves), he retired to his Hico, TX ranch to pout. He tried comebacks with the Angels and Royals to close his career. In 11 seasons, he compiled a 45-58 record with 192 saves and a 3.65 ERA.
Williams continues to be controversial as a commentator for the MLB Network.