Matt Williams (third baseman)
|Third baseman / Manager|
Born: November 28, 1965|
|April 11, 1987, for the San Francisco Giants|
|Last MLB appearance|
|May 31, 2003, for the Arizona Diamondbacks|
|Runs batted in||1,218|
|Career highlights and awards|
Matthew Derrick Williams (born November 28, 1965), nicknamed "Matt the Bat" and "The Big Marine" is a former professional baseball third baseman. A right-handed batter, Williams played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the San Francisco Giants, the Cleveland Indians, and the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was the manager of the Washington Nationals from 2014 to 2015.
Williams played in a World Series for each of these teams (1989 with the Giants, 1997 with the Indians, and 2001 with the Diamondbacks in which he won over the New York Yankees). During these years, Williams became the only player to hit at least one World Series home run for three different Major League baseball teams. During his career, Williams had an overall batting average of .268, with 378 home runs and 1218 runs batted in (RBIs). He scored 997 Major League runs, and he accumulated 1878 hits, 338 doubles, and 35 triples, while playing in 1866 regular-season games. As of August, 2015 – 13 years after his final game – he still ranks in the top 75 all-time players for career home runs and the top 150 all-time players for career RBIs.
Williams originally was selected by the New York Mets from Carson High School in Carson City, Nevada, but he did not sign with the Mets. Williams was the starting quarterback on the Carson Senators football team in high school. Two of his teammates who played baseball in high school, Bob Ayrault and Charlie Kerfeld, also played baseball in the major leagues.
San Francisco Giants
Williams accepted a baseball scholarship to play for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and after attending college and playing baseball there, Williams was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the first round (the 3rd pick) of the 1986 pro baseball draft. Williams began his major league career in 1987 primarily as a short stop for the Giants while playing some games at third base also. He played both short stop and third base until the 1990 season when he became the starting third baseman for the Giants and went on to lead the National League in Runs Batted In with 122 while making the National League All Star team. Despite suffering from several leg injuries and some lower-back ailments, Williams was an excellent fielder at third base, and a dangerous and productive hitter. As a third baseman, Williams had good reflexes and excellent hands, plus a quick release with his strong and accurate arm. Williams was one of the premier fielders at third base, as he earned four Gold Glove Awards between 1991 and 1997.
A hitter with exceptional power, six times he hit more than 30 home runs in a baseball season as a Giant, with more than 90 runs batted in. His best season was 1994 when he hit a National League-best 43 home runs and had an impressive 96 runs batted in (RBI) in only 110 games as the Major League Baseball season was shortened by nearly one-third because of a season-ending strike by Major League baseball players. He was on pace to challenge the single season home run record of 61, at the time held by Roger Maris, with his 43 home runs in 115 Giants games projecting to 60.6 home runs at season's end. Williams finished second in the voting for the National League Most Valuable Player Award that year behind first baseman, Jeff Bagwell, of the Houston Astros.
Williams was an original member of the Arizona Diamondbacks, and holds the Diamondbacks record for the most RBIs in one season with a total of 142 during 1999. (This record has since been tied by Luis Gonzalez in 2001, but has never been exceeded.)
Williams was a partial owner of the Diamondbacks, and carried the title of "Special Assistant to the General Partner". Williams occasionally also served as color commentator during Diamondbacks radio and television broadcasts, and also assisted in coaching and with player personnel matters.
Williams was hired in November 2009 by the Diamondbacks to be the first base coach for 2010. Williams moved from first base coach to third base coach for the 2011 season, while working under 1st-year manager Kirk Gibson.
Major League Career
When Williams retired from baseball in 2003 he was fifth on the list of most career home runs by a Third Baseman (359).
On October 31, 2013, the Washington Nationals announced that they had hired Williams to replace Davey Johnson as their manager for the 2014 season. Prior to the 2015 season, the Nationals exercised an option to extend Williams through the 2016 season. Williams managed the Nationals to a NL East division title and the playoffs, but lost the NLDS to the San Francisco Giants. Williams was named the 2014 National League Manager of the Year.
On October 5, 2015, the Nationals fired Williams after a disappointing season where they were favored to win the World Series and failed to make the playoffs. He finished with a record of 179 wins and 145 losses.
- As of October 4, 2015
|Team||From||To||Regular season record||Post–season record|
|W||L||Win %||W||L||Win %|
On November 6, 2007, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Williams purchased $11,600 worth of human growth hormone, steroids and other drugs from the Palm Beach clinic in 2002. Williams later told the Chronicle he used HGH on the advice of a doctor to treat an ankle injury he suffered during spring training in 2002.
On December 13, 2007, he was named among the dozens of players alleged to have used steroids in the Mitchell Report, commissioned by Major League Baseball and written by former Senator George J. Mitchell.
Hall of Fame candidacy
Williams became eligible for the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2009. He received just 1.3% of the votes, and was dropped off the ballot.
Williams has been married three times. His first wife, Tracie, left with their three children for another. His second wife (January 1999 – July 2002) was the American film actress, Michelle Johnson. She filed for divorce in 2002, listing irreconcilable differences as the reason. The couple had no children, and in July 2002 their divorce was final. In 2003, Williams became engaged to Phoenix news anchor, Erika Monroe, who is a TV news anchor from KTVK-TV, a TV hostess and creator of the cooking and lifestyle website, The Hopeless Housewife; they married in 2003. In 2007 the couple co-hosted the weekend pre-game shows for the Arizona Diamondbacks called "DBacks on Deck". They are the parents of one child and live in Paradise Valley, Arizona.
Williams is the grandson of former major league outfielder Bert Griffith.
- List of Major League Baseball career home run leaders
- List of Major League Baseball career runs batted in leaders
- List of Major League Baseball annual runs batted in leaders
- List of Major League Baseball annual home run leaders
- Washington Nationals, MLB.com Matt Williams #9 Page Accessed March 11, 2013
- Franchise-best 151 D-backs games to be televised in 2007
- Comak, Amanda (31 October 2013). "Nationals Name Matt Williams Manager". MLB.com Blogs.
- Janes, Chelsea; Wagner, James (21 February 2015). "Nationals exercise 2016 option on manager Matt Williams". The Washington Post.
- "2014 National League Standings". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
- "Washington Nationals fire manager Matt Williams". ESPN. 5 October 2015.
- "Matt Williams". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved April 12, 2015.
- Mark Fainaru-Wada & Lance Williams (November 6, 2007). "Baseball's Jose Guillen, Matt Williams bought steroids from clinic". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved January 20, 2008.
- Nightengale, Bob; Ortiz, Jorge L.; White, Paul (March 3, 2010). "The '07 Mitchell Report's effect: Five active players reflect". USA Today.
- Antonen, Mel (January 15, 2009). "Rice joins Henderson as newest baseball Hall of Famers". USA Today.
- Jenkins, Bruce (9 October 1997). "Life Jabs at Williams / Divorce after trade to Indians". SFGate.com. San Francisco Chronicles. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
Tracie asked for a divorce not long after the Giants traded Williams to Cleveland. The news blindsided him like a Mack truck...
- Kilgore, Adam (7 February 2014). "Matt Williams: Before the Washington Nationals, two jarring blows altered his path". The Washington Post. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
- "Matt Williams' actress-wife seeks divorce". Sports Illustrated. July 16, 2002. Retrieved October 9, 2007.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)