MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Williams mourns passing of 'mentor' Rosen

Williams mourns passing of 'mentor' Rosen

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Nationals manager Matt Williams was saddened by the passing of former Indians third baseman Al Rosen, who died Friday at 91.

After his playing days ended in 1956, Rosen was a successful baseball executive. He is best remembered for his years as the general manager of the Giants in the 1980s, and Rosen selected Williams in the first round of the 1986 First-Year Player Draft.

Williams said Rosen gave him more than one chance to make it to the Major Leagues. Williams made his Major League debut in 1987 and became an everyday player in the big leagues starting in 1989. Williams said he owed Rosen a lot

"He personally scouted me at UNLV," Williams said. "He was a huge mentor of mine. He was a third baseman, of course. In my early days, he was someone I leaned on for advice. He was around the club all the time as the GM. So, yes, it's a sad day. He not only meant a lot to me, but to our game. A great player, great executive and a wonderful human."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.