November 15, 2001 Charlie Williams is a name that should be revered by baseball fans everywhere. Once during 1951, Willie Mays' rookie year, Giant manager Leo Durocher proclaimed "I wouldn't trade Willie Mays for any player in baseball!"
Durocher was one of the greatest managers in the game, and Mays clearly was one of the best to ever play the game. Even in his twilight years, he was still a threat. But for some strange reason, Horace Stoneham decided another relief pitcher was more important to him than having Mays play out his last years in a Giant uniform.
And thus, 20 years after Durocher's emotional quip, Charlie Williams became the only player in history to be traded for Willie Mays.
April 21, 2002 I remember my brother buying me a pack of baseball cards in the spring of 1972. The only Met in the pack was Charlie Williams but my brother had to break the bad news to me that Williams had been traded to the Giants. I was crushed.
July 27, 2003 The Giants were in marginal financial shape at the end of Willie Mays career, while the Mets were were of the more profitable teams in baseball. Stoneham, knowing that he could not afford to set up Willie for his post- player career, agreed to send him to the Mets who could pay Willie well for his final playing seasons and then pay him to be a "coach" afterwards. Ironically, while the transaction brought Willie back to NYC, it sent Charlie Williams, the only Met in history who was born in Flushing, out to the West Coast where he pitched for SF most of the 1970's.