Matt Williams (third baseman)
|Arizona Diamondbacks – No. 9|
|Third baseman / Coach|
November 28, 1965 |
|Batted: Right||Threw: Right|
|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 in Bishop, California), nicknamed "Matt the Bat", is a former Major League Baseball third baseman and right-handed batter who played for the San Francisco Giants, the Cleveland Indians, and the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Williams played in a World Series for each of these teams (1989 with the Giants, 1997 with the Indians, and 2001 with the Diamondbacks). 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. He scored 997 Major League runs, and he accumulated 1878 hits, 338 doubles, and 35 triples, while playing in 1866 regular-season games.
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 at 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. 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), even though this was a Major League Baseball season that was shortened by nearly one-third because of a season-ending strike by Major League baseball players. 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 is now a partial owner of the Diamondbacks, and carries the title of "Special Assistant to the General Partner". Williams occasionally also serves as color commentator during Diamondbacks radio and television broadcasts, and also has assisted in coaching and with player personnel matters.
Williams was hired in November 2009 by the Diamondbacks to be the 1st-base coach for 2010. Williams moved from 1st-base coach to 3rd-base coach for the 2011 season, while working under 1st-year manager Kirk Gibson.
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 has been married three times. 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 Mr. 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 2002. Also 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 top 300 Major League Baseball home run hitters
- List of Major League Baseball players with 1000 RBI
- List of Major League Baseball RBI champions
- List of Major League Baseball home run champions
- Franchise-best 151 D-backs games to be televised in 2007
- 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.
- "Matt Williams' actress-wife seeks divorce". Sports Illustrated. July 16, 2002. Retrieved October 9, 2007.
- Ron Rapoport (June 3, 2003). "Roger and out". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on December 18, 2007. Retrieved October 9, 2007. "He...is engaged to Phoenix news anchor Erika Monroe"
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube