Williams played football with John Elway at Stanford, but chose to sign with the White Sox in 1982 after his freshman year. Speedy and powerful, he became Chicago’s centerfielder in mid-1987, batting .281 with 11 HR, 50 RBI, and 21 stolen bases in 391 at-bats. The front office moved him to third base for 1988. He hurt his ankle in spring training and played with pain until a stress fracture was discovered in late May.
By the time Williams returned, he had committed 14 errors, and his confidence was shattered. He hit just .159 that year and was demoted for a while. Just before the start of the 1989 season he was traded to Detroit for Eric King, but continued to struggle at the plate. He was never able to recapture the promise of his rookie season with the White Sox.