I did play against Williams.. probably about 7 times as a player on a team everyone thought was inferior to his and maybe two or three times with a team that had close to a 50/50 chance of beating his team.
I never had him as a teammate or friend so my views on the “good guy” question will be answered from the view of an opponent/watcher from the stand.
For many of the early years I said and believed that the game would be better off when Williams and Scott Vercus stopped playing.
I said that because those two were more or less Dave Neale’s screaming bullies when it came to trying to intimidate the other team. And..They seemed to feed off each other.
In hind sight/and maybe with a little more mature view (ok...stop laughing) .. My believe the game would be better when they were out of it evolved into understanding how Danny and his like were allowed to, and on many occasions rewarded by acting like potty mouthed big time wrestlers.
I have met Scott and he comes across like a good guy and I would have to guess Danny would have fallen into the same boat if the game was properly monitored..but it would just be a guess.
Danny was a huge, muscle enhanced man..which made him about 65% as big as Vircus. Between the two of them they talked so much crap I have no doubt they would over run the leach fields of my septic system in a day.
Danny was not a good guy on the field of play for the game just because of his on field deMEANor...
His style/antics, while being rewarded by the Dave Neale types, were a large part of holding the game back and at one point keeping slow pitch out of the olympics as a exibition sport.
That’s a different story for maybe another time. And No..Danny didn’t keep it out..his style of cussing and what some would call un-sportsmanship style actions not being eliminated from the game is what I am talking about.
My one negative off field experience with Danny Williams was at the world series around 1995?... On opening night..a teammate of mine Brian Greer won the homerun contest and Brian, Dennis Rulli and maybe Billy Messina went out to celebrate...somehow Brian and Danny got into a fight (maybe Rulli knows what over)...I was told Brian was so drunk he could. arely stand up let alone land a punch. But Danny did a number on him..I was told as Brian laid on the ground Danny grabbed Brian’s head and lifted it up to slam it into a rock but stoped..So there has to be some compassion/humanity.
The next morning I found out about the fight and I went to see Brian..he was pretty messed up so I told him to told skip BP and just get to the game if he felt he could play.
We went out to hit and somehow it ended up being the exact place steele’s was planing on hitting.. we were there first (about five of us).. Danny pulled up..grabbed a bat from his car and “strutted” into the middle of us yelling..”where is my boy..we still got some business to finish”...
I told him ..If you are talking about Brian..he is mending his wounds and pretty messed up.. Danny yelled some more negative stuff while walked back to the car continuing to scream about taking care of unfinished business while he was slamming his bat into the palm of his hand..Danny, from the Brian I saw at the hotel, had no more business to tend.
I do not know if Brian started what ended up being a fight or not..so I don’t know whose fault that fight was.
On the Drilling/Williams video thing...Paul as a player was very much like me when it came to being tough guy... he was a wise ass, quick witted, limited athlete that probable had a hard time bench pressing his weight so Danny taking on Paul was nothing to brag about...But to this day...I wonder just what Paul was thinking as that ball was flying towards Williams head... heck..The real question is..what was he thinking as he decided to throw it. Paul had a strong history of verbally destroying opponents in Jester fashion..I cannot fathom how he thought actually fighting Danny was going to end up anything other then bad.
In the end..it is not bully guys like Danny’s faults they bullied.. after all..their actions were left unchecked, sometimes rewarded and more or less silently condoned.
It is my belief almost every top level player in the game loves softball..it is the leaders job to keep them within a proper field of play and sadly...many of the Danny types didn’t get the right directives.
in closing..I think? there is a good chance we played and beat Danny’s steele’s team after that BP.. If I could see the bracket I would know for sure..and if it was indeed the game I remember.. Danny Williams made the last out and stayed down the right field line after the game ..only to have our shortstop Tim Allen sprint out to shake his hand..
Danny rejected the first attempt and turned away but when Timmy circled in front of him again and said something like..”you have shaken my hand after every game you beat us..and you are now going to GD shake my hand or else?! Danny ended up shaking his hand... I doubt Danny would have done that if it was Drilling or myself filling Timmy’s shoes..which on this experience never would have happened/neither one of were/are tough guys.
The Drilling video is a black eye on softball.. and it is not Danny Williams or Paul’s fault..It is the lack of leadership in the game at that time addressing unsportsmanlike conduct, without proper boarders everything gets merky and can easily slip out of bounds.
Danny and Paul both loved softball..and that love would have kept them within whatever proper sportsmanship conduct was required to stay on the field.
If..that is..it had mattered to the leadership.....as an example..how often have you heard of a team misbehaving on the field when Jeff Hague or Helmer were at the helm?
Sometimes leadership does matter... another example is Androff, on field actions, after Hank and company led him away from the Steele/Neale un-sportsman intimidation mentality while repping H&B.