"Well, yeah, because my biological mother was one of the first members," Williams said. "I remember going into the Panther headquarters in Oakland, California and playing in the backyard. Some of my early babysitters are some of the legendary names in Panther history.
"It was, contrary to what maybe many people believe, it was a heck of a learning environment. And one that was not exclusive at all. That probably surprised a lot of other people too that actually recognized regardless of race, recognized those who felt that equality was a value in our society."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.