Diaz with the Atlanta Braves
March 3, 1978 |
|July 19, 2003, for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays|
|Last MLB appearance|
|May 18, 2013, for the Miami Marlins|
|Runs batted in||226|
Matthew Edward Diaz (// DY-əz; born March 3, 1978) is an American former professional baseball outfielder. He played in Major League Baseball for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Kansas City Royals, Atlanta Braves, Pittsburgh Pirates and Miami Marlins.
As a two-year starter at Florida State University, Diaz helped lead the Seminoles to two College World Series appearances, including the 1999 title game vs. the University of Miami. He was named the Sporting News man of the Year in 1998, and a First Team All-American (American Baseball Coaches Association, National Baseball College Writers' Association) in 1999.
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Kansas City Royals
On December 19, 2005, Diaz was traded to the Atlanta Braves for minor league pitcher Ricardo Rodríguez. Diaz earned a backup outfielder spot for the Braves during spring training. Appearing in 124 games, including many starting assignments in the second half of the season, Diaz batted .327 in 297 at-bats. On August 14, 2006, Diaz had four hits for the second straight day and tied the National League record with ten straight hits. He grounded out in the 9th inning to end the streak.
Diaz had his first career two-homer game on August 29, 2007, against the Florida Marlins. On September 5, he hit a three-run walk-off double in the bottom of the ninth to give the Braves a 9-8 win. Diaz finished the season with a career-high .338 batting average in 124 games.
Second stint with the Atlanta Braves
On August 31, 2011, Diaz was traded back to the Braves for a player to be named later. Pittsburgh also sent cash to the Braves in the deal. On August 13, 2012, the Braves announced that Diaz will have surgery on his thumb and will miss the rest of the 2012 season.
New York Yankees
On Feb. 4th, 2014 Matt Diaz announced his retirement from professional baseball. On April 24, 2014 Diaz joined the Braves pre-game and postgame telecast of Braves Live on Fox Sports South, which he will do regularly for the 2014 season.
A born-again Christian, Diaz and his wife Leslee have three kids, Nathan Everett, Anna Grace, and Matthew Jacob. His brother is contemporary Christian singer Jonny Diaz. His surname has an Anglicized pronunciation which originated with his grandfather who had emigrated from Barcelona. He grew up in Lakeland, Florida.
- On not being an everyday player: "[A] lot of people would think about the money they're not making if they don't play every day, but we all make enough money."
Matt Diaz is the center of a viral video of him getting heckled by a New York Mets fan. He was heckled for wearing two different socks, and Diaz responded by showing the fans behind him the variation in color. 
- "Pirates reach deal with free-agent outfielder Diaz". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. December 8, 2010.
- Dierkes, Tim. "Braves Acquire Matt Diaz". MLBTradeRumors.com. Retrieved 2011-08-31.
- "Yankees reach deal with free-agent outfielder Diaz". New York Daily News. December 26, 2012.
- "Marlins recall INF Adeiny Hechavarria, OF Matt Diaz". May 2, 2013. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
- Bisher, Furman. "Diaz keeps on hitting with Braves," The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Saturday, February 28, 2009.
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