- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 7, 2010

CHICAGO (AP) - A statue of Hall of Famer Billy Williams was dedicated by the Chicago Cubs outside Wrigley Field on Tuesday.

The sculpture was unveiled before Chicago’s home game against the Houston Astros. Williams was accompanied at the ceremony by his wife, Shirley. Also in attendance were former teammates Ernie Banks, Ferguson Jenkins, Ron Santo and Glenn Beckert, and Chicago dignitary Rev. Jesse Jackson.

The statue portrays Williams finishing his sweet left-handed swing.

Williams played 16 seasons with the Cubs from 1959-74, primarily in left field. He hit .290 with 426 home runs and 1,475 RBIs during his 18-year major league career.

“When they told me about the unveiling in Chicago, I thought this day couldn’t come here fast enough,” Williams said. “This is beyond a dream for a kid growing up in Whistler, Alabama.”

Williams joined Banks as the only two Cubs players to be honored with a statue. Williams was inducted into the Hall Fame and had his No. 26 retired by the Cubs in 1987.

“This is two great honors. The first being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987 and now the second one, being honored with a statue,” Williams said.

The statue is located outside the southeast entrance of Wrigley Field, on the corner of Sheffield Avenue and Addison Street.

Previously, a statue of late Cubs broadcaster Harry Caray was located in that spot. Caray’s statue was moved and rededicated at Sheffield and Waveland Avenues last Wednesday.

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