Matt Williams

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Note: This page links to 1990s All-Star third baseman Matt Williams. For others with similar names, click here.

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Matthew Derrick Williams
(Carson Crusher)

BR page

Biographical Information[edit]

The grandson of Bert Griffith, Matt Williams was signed as a 1st round pick in the 1986 amateur draft by the San Francisco Giants and scout George Genovese. He had played for Team USA in the 1985 Intercontinental Cup, when they went just 2-5 despite Williams, Jeff King, Kevin Brown, Jack McDowell, Erik Hanson and several other major leaguers (Canada was the only other country in the tournament to have even one future major leaguer in its line-up).

Williams was one of the top National League sluggers of the 1990s. He had a shot at breaking Roger Maris's home run record when the 1994 strike wiped out the remainder of that season - he had 43 homers in 112 games.

In 2007, he was working as a TV analyst when he was called on to manage the Mobile BayBears on an interim basis on July 30th after Brett Butler had a mild stroke; he managed the team for the remainder of the season. Williams joined the Arizona Diamondbacks coaching staff in 2010 as the team's first base coach. He moved across the diamond to the third base coaching box for the 2011-2013 seasons.

Following the retirement of Davey Johnson the Washington Nationals named Williams their new manager for the 2014 season. His first year was quite successful, as the Nationals finished the year with the best record in the National League, but they made an early exit from the postseason when their bats went completely quiet in the NLDS, which they lost in four games to the San Francisco Giants. Williams was criticized quite a bit for the use of his bullpen in the series, after he unexpectedly removed Jordan Zimmermann with two outs in the 9th inning in Game 2 and Drew Storen blew the lead, and then when he had bullpen back-enders Matt Thornton and Aaron Barrett give up the series-winning run in the 7th inning of Game 4 while his better relievers were sitting down. However, Washington entered 2015 as overwhelming favorites to repeat as NL East champions, after signing starter Max Scherzer as a free agent in the off-season. Scherzer did his part, pitching a pair of no-hitters, and OF Bryce Harper had a break-out season, but the Nationals collapsed in August and September, after trading deadline acquisition Jonathan Papelbon replaced Storen as the closer. The Nationals finished second, but missed the postseason by a wide margin. Williams paid the price when he was fired, along with his entire coaching staff, on October 5th, the day after the season ended.

Williams returned to the Diamondbacks as third base coach in 2016 but stayed for only one season. In 2018, he was hired by the Oakland Athletics as their third base coach and stayed until the end of the 2019 season. He was then hired to manage the KIA Tigers, the 3rd American to manage in the KBO, following Jerry Royster and Trey Hillman. He was 73-71 in 2020 but fell to 58-76-10 in 2021. In 2022 he returned to the U.S. as third base coach of the San Diego Padres, but had to undergo hip surgery during spring training. Former St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Shildt replaced him on an interim basis.


Williams is the only player to hit home runs in the World Series for three different teams. About twenty players, starting with Kiki Cuyler, have hit World Series home runs for two different teams.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 5-time NL All-Star (1990, 1994-1996 & 1999)
  • 4-time Gold Glove Winner (1991/NL, 1993/NL, 1994/NL & 1997/AL)
  • 4-time Silver Slugger Award Winner (1990/NL, 1993/NL, 1994/NL & 1997/AL)
  • NL Home Runs Leader (1994)
  • NL RBI Leader (1990)
  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 10 (1990-1999)
  • 30-Home Run Seasons: 6 (1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1997 & 1999)
  • 40-Home Run Seasons: 1 (1994)
  • 100 RBI Seasons: 4 (1990, 1993, 1997 & 1999)
  • 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 1 (1993)
  • Won a World Series with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001
  • NL Manager of the Year (2014)
  • Division Titles: 1 (2014)

Preceded by
Davey Johnson
Washington Nationals Manager
Succeeded by
Dusty Baker

Year-By-Year Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs
2014 Washington Nationals National League 96-66 1st Washington Nationals Lost NLDS
2015 Washington Nationals National League 83-79 2nd Washington Nationals

Further Reading[edit]

  • Will Leitch: "For Matt Williams, the HR chase that never was",, May 11, 2020. [1]
  • Rick Sorci: "Baseball Profile: Third Baseman Matt Williams", Baseball Digest, March 1994, p. 84. [2]

Related Sites[edit]