NASHVILLE, TN — David Williams, II was a fan from the beginning. When he first heard of Music City Baseball’s initiative to bring baseball home to Nashville, and to honor the Negro Leagues legacy in his city, his comment was clear and direct. “This opportunity is much bigger than the game of baseball.”
Last week, in a salute to Williams’ impact, the legacy of the Stars, both in Nashville and in his hometown of Detroit, and his continuing inspiration to baseball across the region, Vanderbilt University’s baseball program announced that they renamed their Black and Gold Fall World Series the David Williams Fall Classic. This year’s event will take place November 13 at Hawkins Field.
Head coach Tim Corbin, one of our Baseball Advisors and a close friend of Williams, wanted a way to honor the longtime Vanderbilt University vice chancellor and athletics director and his family annually.
“Our baseball tradition is synonymous with his presence,” Corbin said. “For me, it’s personal because of my relationship with David and Gail and the kids. As our careers grew, we grew together, and he became a mentor.”
Gail Williams, wife of David, is just as close to the baseball world as her husband was. Serving as a Community Advisor for MCB, Gail continues to share David’s legacy across the country.
Aside from the four National Championships and 19 league titles and tournaments crowns that Williams brought to Vandy, his commitment to elevating student-athletes at the university has left a lasting touch.
“(Dave’s) commitment to seeing excellence and his commitment to things growing into what they should be was the work that he put in, and to have a partner in that with Tim Corbin, it doesn’t get any better than that,” said Gail Williams. “Two men who were so committed to the student-athlete experience and at the same time aspiring for the highest level of competition that you can do. They were able collectively to balance those two very extraordinary opportunities for young people.”
Expanding the academic and experiential opportunities for student-athletes, Williams truly believed in developing well-rounded student-athletes and preparing them for life after college. His trailblazing efforts continue to have impacts. The university now offers the nation’s most comprehensive summer internship program for student-athletes.
Music City Baseball will be at Hawkins Field on Sunday, November 13, and encourage all to come by for this free event. Gates open at 11:00am and the Classic begins at 1:00pm. Through this celebration the Vanderbilt baseball team, Coach Corbin, and the Nashville Stars will continue to honor and preserve the legacy of David Williams.