Matt Williams (third baseman)

Matthew Derrick Williams (born November 28, 1965), nicknamed "Matt the Bat" and "The Big Marine" is an American professional baseball manager and former third baseman who is the third base coach for the San Diego Padres.[1] A right-handed batter, Williams played in Major League Baseball for the San Francisco Giants, Cleveland Indians, and Arizona Diamondbacks. He managed the Washington Nationals from 2014 to 2015.

Matt Williams
Williams with the Washington Nationals in 2015
San Diego Padres – No. 18
Third baseman / Manager / Third base coach
Born: (1965-11-28) November 28, 1965
Bishop, California, U.S.
Batted: Right
Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 11, 1987, for the San Francisco Giants
Last MLB appearance
May 31, 2003, for the Arizona Diamondbacks
MLB statistics
Batting average.268
Home runs378
Runs batted in1,218
Managerial record179–145
Winning %.552
As player

As manager

As coach

Career highlights and awards

Williams played in a World Series for each of the teams he played for (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.[2] During his career, Williams had an overall batting average of .268, with 378 home runs and 1,218 runs batted in (RBIs). He scored 997 Major League runs, and he accumulated 1,878 hits, 338 doubles, and 35 triples, while playing in 1,866 regular-season games.

Early life

Williams originally was selected by the New York Mets in the 27th round 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 shortstop for the Giants while playing some games at third base also. He played both shortstop 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, with a quick release and strong, accurate arm. During his career, he earned four Gold Glove Awards, all between 1991 and 1997.

A hitter with exceptional power, six times he hit more than 30 home runs in a 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 112 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 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.

Cleveland Indians

Williams was traded to Cleveland after the 1996 season in a six-player trade that worked out for both teams; the Giants received future NL MVP Jeff Kent in the deal.

In 1997, while Williams' streak of three straight All-Star selections ended, he exceeded 30 HRs and 100 RBIs and won a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger, all for the first time since 1994. He also helped lead Cleveland to its second American League pennant in three years, although the Indians lost the World Series in seven games to the Florida Marlins. After his divorce from his first wife Tracie, Williams requested and received a trade to the Arizona Diamondbacks to be closer to his children.[3]

Arizona Diamondbacks

Williams (left) as third base coach with the Diamondbacks in 2011

Williams was an original member of the Arizona Diamondbacks from the club's inaugural season in 1998.[4] He holds the Diamondbacks record for the most RBIs in one season with a total of 142 during 1999; the record has since been tied by Luis Gonzalez in 2001, but has never been exceeded.[5]

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,[6] 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 first-year manager Kirk Gibson.

Managerial career

Washington Nationals

On October 31, 2013, the Washington Nationals announced that they had hired Williams to replace Davey Johnson as their manager for the 2014 season.[7] Prior to the 2015 season, the Nationals exercised an option to extend Williams through the 2016 season.[8] Williams managed the Nationals to a NL East division title and the playoffs,[9] 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 terminated Williams after a disappointing season where they were World Series favorites and failed to make the postseason.[10] He finished with a record of 179 wins and 145 losses.[11]

Kia Tigers

Williams joined the Kia Tigers of the KBO League, becoming their first American-born manager before the 2020 season.[1] On November 5, 2021, it was announced that Williams would not be returning to the team in 2022 after the club finished in ninth place with a 58–75 record in 2021.[12]

Managerial record

As of 2018 Season. [13]
TeamYearRegular seasonPostseason
GamesWonLostWin %FinishWonLostWin %Result
WAS2014 1629666.5931st in NL East13.250Lost NLDS (SF)
WAS2015 1628379.5122nd in NL East

Coaching career

Williams coached for the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2010 through 2014 before he managed the Washington Nationals in 2014 and 2015. He was hired as the Oakland Athletics' third base coach in November 2017,[14] staying with them through the 2019 season.

On December 17, 2021, Williams was hired by the San Diego Padres to serve as the team's third base coach for the 2022 season.[15]

Other work

Williams joined NBC Sports Bay Area in 2017 as a studio analyst, appearing before and after San Francisco Giants telecasts.[16]

Steroid use

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.[17] 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.[18]

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 from the ballot.[19]

Personal life

Williams has been married three times. His first wife, Tracie, left with their three children for another.[20][21] His second wife (January 1999 – July 2002) was film actress Michelle Johnson. She filed for divorce in 2002, listing irreconcilable differences as the reason.[22] 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.[21] In 2007 the couple co-hosted the weekend pre-game shows for the Arizona Diamondbacks called "DBacks on Deck". They have one child and live in Bel Air, California.

Williams is the grandson of former major league outfielder Bert Griffith.

See also


  1. Rubin, Shayna. "Why Matt Williams left the A’s to manage a team in Korea: Former San Francisco Giants star and A’s coach is managing the Kia Tigers of the Korean Baseball Organization," The Mercury News (May 11, 2020).
  2. Washington Nationals, Matt Williams #9 Page Accessed March 11, 2013
  3. "Cleveland Indians Trade Third Baseman Matt Williams to Arizona Diamondbacks for Travis Fryman". Associated Press. Retrieved May 26, 2021.
  4. "1998 Arizona Diamondbacks Statistics". Baseball Reference. Retrieved August 14, 2020.
  5. "Batting Season & Career Finder: For Single Seasons, Playing for the ARI, From 1871 to 2020, (requiring RBI>=100), sorted by greatest Runs Batted In". Stathead. Retrieved August 14, 2020.
  6. Franchise-best 151 D-backs games to be televised in 2007
  7. Comak, Amanda (October 31, 2013). "Nationals Name Matt Williams Manager". Blogs.
  8. Janes, Chelsea; Wagner, James (February 21, 2015). "Nationals exercise 2016 option on manager Matt Williams". The Washington Post.
  9. "2014 National League Standings". Retrieved May 15, 2016.
  10. "Washington Nationals fire manager Matt Williams". ESPN. October 5, 2015.
  11. "Matt Williams". Retrieved April 12, 2015.
  12. "SF Giants: Matt Williams out as Kia Tigers manager".
  13. "Dave Martinez Managerial Record".
  14. @JaneMLB (November 17, 2017). "Matt Williams will be back on the field in the Bay Area next year. He's agreed to be the A's third-base coach" (Tweet) via Twitter.
  15. "Padres hire Matt Williams as 3B coach".
  16. Pavlovic, Alex. "Matt Williams joins NBC Sports Bay Area's Giants TV coverage". Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  17. 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.
  18. Nightengale, Bob; Ortiz, Jorge L.; White, Paul (March 3, 2010). "The '07 Mitchell Report's effect: Five active players reflect". USA Today.
  19. Antonen, Mel (January 15, 2009). "Rice joins Henderson as newest baseball Hall of Famers". USA Today.
  20. Jenkins, Bruce (October 9, 1997). "Life Jabs at Williams / Divorce after trade to Indians". San Francisco Chronicles. Retrieved May 15, 2016. Tracie asked for a divorce not long after the Giants traded Williams to Cleveland. The news blindsided him like a Mack truck...
  21. Kilgore, Adam (February 7, 2014). "Matt Williams: Before the Washington Nationals, two jarring blows altered his path". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 15, 2016.
  22. "Matt Williams' actress-wife seeks divorce". Sports Illustrated. July 16, 2002. Retrieved October 9, 2007.
Sporting positions
Preceded by National League Player of the Month
May 1995
April 1999
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Lorenzo Bundy
Arizona Diamondbacks first base coach
Succeeded by
Eric Young
Preceded by
Lorenzo Bundy
Andy Green
Arizona Diamondbacks third base coach
Succeeded by
Eric Young
Tony Perezchica
Preceded by Oakland Athletics third base coach
Succeeded by
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