Charlie Williams, the first black umpire to work behind home plate in a World Series game, has died. He was 61.
Williams, of Chicago, died Sept. 10 of complications from diabetes at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill.
“He recognized that it was hard being a black umpire, that there were times that people had nasty racial things to say,” said Diana Williams, his wife of 26 years. “But the main thing is that he wanted to do a good job. He loved it.”
Williams began umpiring in the major leagues in 1982. He was the home-plate umpire for the marathon Game 4 of the 1993 World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays. At 4 hours, 14 minutes, it was the longest game in World Series history. It also set records for most runs by both teams (29) and most runs scored by a losing team (14). Toronto won the game at Veterans Stadium, 15-14, and took the Series in six games.