By Shawn Wood
For The Daily Item
WILLIAMSPORT -- From the days of the "Tomahawk Chop" at Atlanta's Fulton County Stadium to the waving of the rally towels in Philadelphia, Shawn Williams has often had the best seat in the house.
The former bat boy now has a new seat -- the hot seat -- as he beings his first season as a baseball manager with the Williamsport Crosscutters.
Williams, 31, is the son of former big league manager and coach Jimy Williams. The elder Williams managed Toronto, Boston and Houston, and was bench coach when the Phillies won the World Series in 2008.
Shawn Williams spent four seasons (2007-2010) in the Tampa Bay minor league system. He was a hitting coach with the Cutters last year.
"It was awesome being here last year, and to get the chance to come up here and start managing, it's a dream come true," he said Wednesday at the team's media day at Historic Bowman Field.
The Cutters open their 76-game season in the New York-Penn League at home Friday against State College.
"It's just more responsibility this year," Williams said of the difference between serving as hitting coach and manager. "I haven't changed anything about how I am or how I go about my business. It's being responsible for everybody and making sure we get after it and play hard."
Former MLB all-star shortstop Nomar Garciaparra had a big influence on how Williams went about playing the game.
"It was more of his routine that I followed as a player," Williams said. "He just played hard and he gave it his all every day and that's what I try to do."
Williams said that while people have changed over the years, the one constant in baseball is that kids today still have a love for the game.