Kenny Williams Helped Put the Second City Back In First Place | Black Baseball Executives As Rare As They Were 30 Years Ago

Kenny Williams Helped Put the Second City Back In First Place | Black Baseball Executives As Rare As They Were 30 Years Ago

After more than a quarter century with the franchise as a player, scout, and executive, Kenny Williams was fired as Executive Vice President of the Chicago White Sox last week.




With the White Sox preparing for their 12th losing season in the last 19 years some may try to diminish his legacy, but Williams’ role in building one of the most successful runs in White Sox history cannot be forgotten.



Kenny Williams Is A Baseball Pioneer 


Williams takes his place among pioneers like Bill Lucas, Bob Watson, and Bill White in baseball history and remains one of only two Black general managers to assemble a World Series champion.


Kenny Williams held every job imaginable as he climbed the leadership ladder with Chicago. Following a less than notable career as a player that ended in 1991, Williams rejoined the White Sox as a scout in 1992 before becoming a special assistant to the team’s chairman, Jerry Reinsdorf, in 1994.



He showed a talent for identifying players, and in 1997 he was promoted to vice-president of player development. 


Kenny Williams Builds Chicago White Sox World Series Winner


In 2000, Williams replaced Ron Scheuler as general manager of the Sox following the team’s first playoff appearance in seven years. With Frank Thomas’ career winding down, Williams made the choice to hire another White Sox legend to push the team over the hump.


By bringing in the fiery personality of Ozzie Guillen, and committing to aggressive moves in acquiring talent, Williams was able to completely rebuild the lineup in just over two years. 


In 2005, his vision would be realized.

The White Sox finished 99-63, capturing the AL Central title before defeating the defending champion Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Angels, and Houston Astros to win the World Series for the first time in 88 years.


Over the next seven years, Chicago would remain competitive but failed to match the success of that magical run of ‘05. However, Williams’ loyalty and success were rewarded by Reinsdorf as he was promoted to Executive Vice President.


And now, that historic tenure has come to an end. 


Ken Williams endured and won during his two decades in charge of the White Sox. He dealt with racism, low expectations, and the notoriously tight budget of Reinsdorf over the years.


He accomplished what few have in his sport. Making the successful transition from the field to the front office has been rare enough, but even more rare for Black players.


History will not forget Kenny Williams, and as long as that World Series banner flies his legacy lives on the Southside.

Dana Brown Becomes Second Astros Black General Manager | Former Braves Exec Follows Path Of Bob Watson In Houston

Dana Brown Becomes Second Astros Black General Manager | Former Braves Exec Follows Path Of Bob Watson In Houston

In an attempt to keep baseball’s World Championship in “Space City”, the Houston Astros are giving an MLBbro executive his shot to command the franchise.

Dana Brown, who helped the Atlanta Braves construct their World Series victory while building one of the deepest farm systems in the game, was named the Astros general manager on January 26.



Brown Is A Five-Tool Executive With Decades Of Experience & An Eye For Talent 

Brown is as close to a five-tool next generation executive as there is in the game today.  In the new world order of talent evaluation, player development, and acquisitions, the anointed leader of the Astros front office appears to be a great fit as the franchise hopes to continue its deep playoff runs that culminated last year with their victory over the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series.

With Dusty Baker as the field manager and Brown running the show in the front office, the Astros become the second team in MLB history to give Black Knights an opportunity to collaborate on the critical decisions regarding the construction of their roster.  The potentially dynamic duo follows in the footsteps of former Chicago White Sox GM Kenny Williams and manager Jerry Manuel in the windy city.

Houston has been one of the more progressive franchises in Major League Baseball when it comes to hiring Black front office executives to lead their franchise while helping chart their course to championships.  Brown follows in the footsteps of Bob Watson who was MLB’s first Black GM in 1993.



“I’ve been in the game for 33 years,” Brown said according to “Baseball is all I know. It’s my entire life, and so I want to empty myself into this city [and] the Astros fans and let [owner] Jim Crane knows he made a special pick.”

Brown Drafted Vaughn Grissom & Money Mike Harris II

Brown was a vital contributor to the recent success of the Braves by drafting and evaluating the development of the young stars who began paying dividends in 2022.  He is noted for his analytical acumen and his understanding of player development as he was part of the “war rooms” when the Braves drafted new school MLBbros Michael Harris II and Vaughn Grissom. As rookies, both were significant contributors to the Braves’ National League East division title last year.

His thumbprints remain on several other teams who have enjoyed championship success after his expertise helped them acquire all-star talent that paid dividends. Brown was the director of scouting for the Expos/Nationals franchise from 2002-09, and reportedly drafted more than 40 Major League players, including seven All-Stars after his scouting career began with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1994.

It’s a special moment for Brown and his wife Cassandra. The couple met in the 6th grade, so she’s 100 percent invested in her husband’s success and understands how he is pioneering new ground for other aspiring Black front office executives.



MLB Percentages Still Single Digits For Black Representation 

MLB’s numbers regarding African American players sit at just under 8 percent on the field and it’s less than half of that when it comes to corporate leadership on these MLB teams.

There’s a reason why the Braves and Astros are flagship franchises these days. They have a diverse body of decision makers, baseball lifers, with decades of experience and a winning formula that extends beyond their firm grasp of the metrics.