Dick Williams: Mr. Nice Guy, for a While : Former Padre Manager Is Sweet on Golf, but Sour on Baseball

Times Staff Writer

Dick Williams said he was going to be a nice guy in 1986, and he was very nice during and after Wednesday’s Kyocera Inamori golf pro-am.

After Williams finished playing, he chatted with spectators, signed autographs and posed for pictures. He even chatted pleasantly with a reporter.

Nice. Very nice.

Williams, who resigned as Padres manager on the first day of spring training, talked at length about his golf game, a skiing trip to Mammoth, a drive down the coast of Mexico and promotional work for a beer company.


What about baseball?

End of Mr. Nice Guy.

“I don’t care to talk about it,” Williams said tersely. “That’s past.”

Does that mean past, as in he is finished with baseball?


“No comment, one way or another,” Williams answered.

Williams said he has been keeping tabs on baseball. He listened to part of Monday’s Padre-Dodger opener while playing golf and watched the last part on television. He watched all of Tuesday night’s game and said he would probably watch Wednesday night, too.

Life away from baseball has seemingly been very, very good for Williams. He looked fit, trim and relaxed at 195 pounds. He said he and his wife, Norma, were on a diet. Williams even ordered a diet soft drink instead of a beer after he had finished playing.

During his round, Williams joined professional Lauri Peterson in a fivesome which shot a nine-under-par 63 in scramble competition.


Williams would not say whether baseball was in his future. He has said he has commitments to the beer company he promotes. There is also a golf tournament and banquet in the Bay Area, as well as a trip to visit one of his grandchildren in Indianapolis.

He did say one thing about baseball.

Asked if his itinerary would take him to San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium, he said: “You won’t see me at the stadium.”

Of course not. The stadium has no golf course.