The mere thought that Matt would be in a position to contribute to the club's success in 2002 seemed remote after the grisly scene in Tucson on the morning of February 25, but not only did he contribute, his presence in the lineup coincided with Arizona's second half resurgence ... Williams missed the first 87 games of 2002 after suffering a dislocated left ankle and broken fibula while taking ground balls on a back field in Tucson on the morning of February 25 ... the subsequent surgical procedure that night included the attachment of an eight-hole plate to the damaged fibula, the insertion of a large screw (syndesmosis screw) to hold the ligament that connects the fibula to the tibia, and the repairing of the deltoid ligament on the inner aspect of the injured ankle ... due to the extent of the injury he didn't have the luxury of a spring training, then participated in only 9 minor league rehabilitation games before being thrown into the heat of the pennant race ... Williams was activated immediately following the All-Star break and was in the lineup for 2 of the 4 games in Los Angeles, where Arizona took 3 of 4 from the then-division leaders ... he used the majority of that road trip to knock the rust off a swing that had not had a lot of at bats, going just 4-for-29, but once the team returned home things began to change offensively ... Matty had an 8-game hitting streak from July 22-August 5 in which he batted .300 (9-for-30) with 8 runs, 3 homers and 7 RBI ... the biggest home run in that streak was a seventh inning solo blast off of Shawn Estes in New York on August 5, to secure the 4-game sweep of the Mets in Shea ... Williams had that streak halted with an 0-for-7, but picked up again on August 9, hitting .400 (10-for-25) in a 7-game stretch, scoring 5 runs and knocking in 4 ... to emphasize the importance of Matt to the Arizona lineup, from July 22-August 26, he played in 24 games hitting at a .295 clip (26-for-88) while the club went 20-4 in those contests, turning a 1-game advantage into a season-high 9-game lead ... he snapped out of an 0-for-13 slide on September 4, highlighting a 5-run first inning against LA's Andy Ashby with a 3-run homer, leading Arizona to an important 7-1 win ... he caught fire as the Diamondbacks needed wins down the stretch, hitting .306 (22-for-72) in his final 18 games, with 11 runs, 4 doubles, 2 triples, 6 homers and 18 RBI ... included was a big finish as Arizona swept the Rockies in a season-ending 4-game series ... Matty went 8-for-18 (.444) in the series, featuring a big 3-run triple in the first game of the set on September 26 to stake Arizona to a 4-2 victory ... he followed 2 days later in the division clinching game going 4-for-5 with 2 homers, his 12th career 4-hit game, first since June 11, 1999, in Anaheim, and his 31st career multi-homer affair (30th 2-homer), first since August 16, 1999, vs. the Cubs ... he finished the year with 374 career homers, tying Rocky Colavito for 52nd all time and entered 2003 ranking 10th among active players in roundtrippers ... Matty started all 3 games of the NLDS against the Cardinals with his lone hit coming in Game #1, a first inning single.
Acquired from the Cleveland Indians in exchange for Travis Fryman and Tom Martin, December 2, 1997.
Suffered a devastating injury in the final Tucson exhibition game of the spring on March 28, fouling a ball off of his right foot vs. Seattle breaking the second metatarsal...Williams had surgery performed by 4 days later by Dr. Pete Mitchell, who inserted a metal plate into the affected area...it was the exact injury he had suffered with the Giants in 1995, forcing him out of action for 11 weeks.
Was on the disabled list from March 29-May 23, ending with a 5-game rehab stint with El Paso that also proved troublesome...while
playing for the Diablos, he suffered a right quadriceps strain that eventually led to another stint on the 15-day D.L., missing time from June 25-July 13.
Due to the injuries Matt didn't get on track offensively until the midway point of September...he finished the campaign strong by hitting safely in 14 of the final 15 games on the year at a .421 clip (24-for-57) with 9 runs scored, 2 doubles, 5 homers and 18 RBI.
The 5 home runs came in a 10-game stretch to end the year, beginning with a most impressive visit to Pacific Bell Park on September 21-24, his first action there after missing the initial series in April due to injury...went 10-for-20 (.500) with 2 home runs and 9 RBI in a 5-game series...included was a grand slam off of Livan Hernandez in the series finale on the 24th, the 10th slam of his major league career, fifth in a Diamondback uniform...the opposite field shot was just the fifth home run to right by a righthanded batter during the park's inaugural season...the slam also led to his second 5-RBI game of the year and 14th career game in which he drove in at least 5 runs.
Had a 5-game hitting streak from August 12-16 on a tour through Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, going 9-for-23 (.391) with 2 doubles, 2 homers and 9 RBI...included was a 5-RBI effort on August 15 against the Phillies.
The term "speak softly and carry a big stick" pertains to Arizona's quiet leader, Matt Williams, who might not be the most vocal of players, but his message was heard loud and clear in 1999...as the D'Backs made their run for a division title, he took full advantage of the table setters in front of him to have a monster year at the plate, finishing third in the National League MVP balloting, featuring a pair of first place votes...he was voted by the fans to start at third base in the All-Star Game in Boston, his fifth appearance at the Midsummer Classic, fourth time he'd been selected by the fans...he was an easy choice for the Arizona Chapter of the BBWAA, earning Diamondback Player-of-the-Year honors...the 13-year vet destroyed his previous single-season RBI best with 142, 20 more than his league-leading total from 1990 with the Giants...he also set personal bests in average (.303), hits (190) and doubles (37)...his 35 homers, the third best power season of his career, came at opportune times, as 16 of the blasts gave Arizona a lead, while 6 others tied contests...there were teammates aboard for 23 of his 35 home runs, accounting for 69 RBI, 49% of his season RBI total...he had 8 games of at least 4 RBI, while adding 2 more multi-homer games, upping his career total to 30...he went deep twice on May 2 in Milwaukee and August 16 in Bank One Ballpark vs. the Cubs...Matty was hot from the outset, winning league Player-of-the-Month honors for April, batting .357 with 8 homers and 25 RBI...he virtually locked up the award through the first 18 games, batting .385 (30-for-78) with 15 runs scored, 8 doubles, 7 homers and 21 RBI...included was his first of 2 Player-of-the-Week honors, winning for April 19-25 by batting .550 (11-for-20) with 4 homers and 11 RBI (also June 7-13)...his first homer on April 6 in Dodger Stadium was the 300th of his career...Williams ended the season with 334 career home runs, good for 67th all-time, 13th among active players...consistency was his trademark, achieving the .300 mark on the fourth day of the season and dipping below that level once, after going 3 games without a hit to open September, but recovering with a 7-game hitting streak, batting .452 (14-for-31) with 3 homers and 10 RBI...that streak began with a 3-run homer off Tom Glavine in a 7-5 win at Atlanta on Sept. 5, then was followed the next night in Milwaukee with his second grand slam of the year, ninth career, staking the D'Backs to a win...he closed the season by hitting safely in 17 of the last 20 games at a .329 clip (28-for-85) with 22 RBI...while some players put together hitting streaks, Matt chose to assemble RBI streaks, twice knocking in at least 1 run in 6 consecutive games and recording at least 1 RBI in 5 straight once...he was the first of 4 D'Backs to crack the century mark in RBI, and when teammates Jay Bell, Luis Gonzalez and Steve Finley achieved the mark, Arizona had the seventh club in N.L. history with a quartet of 100 RBI...the next-to-last weekend of the regular season was memorable for Matty, who returned to "The Stick" for a final time, getting 2 hits in the first game of the series, the night Arizona clinched its Western Division crown, then after a well deserved day off, he was honored in pre-game ceremonies as a member of the all-time San Francisco Giant starting lineup...his last game ever at Candlestick witnessed a double and run scored in his final plate appearance, as the D'Backs swept the 3-game set...Williams recorded his 1,500th career hit on July 15 at Texas, and just 12 days later posted his 1,000th career RBI with a double in San Diego...defensively, Matt tied a full-season career low with 10 errors, matching his miscue total from 1995 with the Giants...he was guilty of just 3 errors in his final 74 games...DIVISION SERIES HIGHLIGHTS: Matt hit .375 in the 4 games with the Mets, going hitless in the series opener, then finishing on a 6-for-12 run...he had 3 hits, including a double and 3 runs scored in Arizona's lone win in the second game of the series...added a pair of hits in game #3 at Shea Stadium...Williams is now a .280 lifetime hitter in post-season play (33-for-118), spanning 31 games.
Matt persevered through a pair of injuries to land his ninth consecutive 20-homer campaign...he homered in 3 straight games on April 14-16 in St. Louis, beginning the streak with his sixth career grand slam, a shot off Kent Mercker...he had a pair of home runs on April 25 at Florida, the 28th multi-homer game of his career...he was hitting .309 on May 2, before suffering an injury to his left hand that hampered him throughout the season...after returning to action, he hammered his second slam of the year and seventh career, a fifth inning shot on May 20 at Florida off of Andy Larkin...the injury bug bit again in early July, fouling a ball off his left foot on July 3 in Houston, and though he continued to play on the tender foot for 2 weeks, he was eventually diagnosed with a stress fracture and placed on the 15-day D.L....he returned to action on August 3 in Chicago, and as luck would have it, he was hit on the right hand by a pitch in his first game back, forcing him to miss 4 more games...he finished '98 with 11 errors, though he did not commit a miscue in his final 35 games.
Only year as an American Leaguer, Matt was part of a 6-player deal on November 13, 1996, and wound up participating in his 2nd World Series...earned his 4th Silver Slugger Award and was also rewarded for his steady defensive play with 4th Rawlings Gold Glove, first since 1994 with the Giants...led the Tribe with 105 RBI, 3rd time of 100+ RBI in his career, first since 1993, while 32 blasts marked 5th 30+ homer season...hit first A.L. home run on April 16 off Boston's Steve Avery...hit 3 homers in a game for first time in major league career on April 25 at Milwaukee...followed the next night with 2 more home runs vs. the Brewers, tying the big league standard with 5 in 2 days, the 20th time in major league annals, 3rd by an Indian (Joe Carter-1989 and Albert Belle-1995)...all totaled, he had 6 multi-homer games on the year, 5 of the 2-homer variety...2-homer games also occurred on May 18 at Toronto, June 28 at New York, August 1 at Texas and Sept. 6 vs. Chicago(AL)...June 28 game at New York also tied career bests with 4 hits and 6 RBI...had another 6-RBI game on August 27 at Anaheim, collecting all 6 RBI in the 4th inning to equal a major league record (a 3-run homer and 3-run double off of Allen Watson in the 4th inning), Williams' 4th career 6-RBI game...2nd half of season included a career-high 24-game hitting streak (August 13-Sept. 8), hitting .357 (35-for-98) with 6 homers and 27 RBI...it was the 8th longest streak in Cleveland history, and 8 more games than his personal best of 16 accomplished twice previously...established a personal single-season best with 12 thefts, featuring his first career multi-steal game on June 8 at Boston, pilfering 3 bags...committed 12 errors in 402 total chances (.970 fielding pct.), 2nd best among A.L. 3rd basemenb&hit just 7 of his 32 home runs in Jacobs Field, while his 25 road homers were 1 shy of Albert Belle's club record of 26 in 1996.
Hit safely in 14 of the 18 games he played in during the post-season, including a 7-game hitting streak that began in the 2nd game of the Division Series and ran through the 3rd game of the ALCS...also hit safely in the first 6 games of the World Series.
Had a hit in each of the last 4 games of the New York series, including a home run in the 2nd game off losing pitcher Andy Pettitte...knocked in a run with a single in the 5th and deciding game vs. Yankees.
LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES: Overall average was a .217 mark (5-for-23), but he was 4-for-12 (.333) in the first 3 games vs. the Orioles...went 2-for-4 with an RBI in 2-1, 12-inning win at home in game #3.
WORLD SERIES: Had an outstanding Fall Classic at the plate, going 10-for-26 (.385) in the 7 games against the Marlins, with a home run and 3 RBIb&hit safely in first 6 games of the series, going 10-for-24 (.417)...he homered in game #4, driving in a pair in the 10-3 win...also walked 7 times during the series, including 3 times in game #7.
Injury shortened campaign for 2nd straight year, playing in just 105 games due to right shoulder that eventually required surgery...became the first San Francisco Giant to start 8 straight opening days, on April 1 in Atlanta...collected his 1,000th major league hit on April 26 off of Floridabs Kevin Brown...hit safely in 82 of the 105 games he participated in...homered in 3 consecutive games (May 3-7), the 5th time in his career...originally damaged shoulder on July 16 in Colorado attempting to break up a double play in a 6th inning collision with Walt Weiss...moved across to 1st base the following inning, then started 12 of the next 15 games at 1st before going on the D.L. on August 5...had the shoulder scoped on August 17 by Dr. Warren King in San Francisco, with the procedure revealing slight fraying of the labrum, bursa scarring and rotator cuff inflammation...was voted the National League's starting 3rd baseman in the All-Star Game, but was unable to play due to a severely bruised left elbow after being hit by a pitch in San Diego on July 6...it was his 2nd straight missed All-Star start due to injury, 3rd time overall he had been elected by the fans.
Hit a career-best .336 with 23 homers and 65 RBI, but was limited to just 76 games...fractured the 2nd metatarsal bone in his right foot on a foul tip off a Paul Quantrill pitch on June 3 vs. Philly...Williams singled later in the game, but was removed after running to 2nd base on a subsequent single, and placed on the D.L. the next day...injury required surgery by Dr. King and Dr. Gordon Campbell, who inserted pins in the displaced fracture...missed a total of 68 games with the injury, with Giants going 28-40 in his absence, dropping 8.0 games in the standings...at the time of the injury, he was leading the league in avg. (.381), homers (13), RBI (35) and hits (50)b&was named the N.L. Player-of-the-Month for May, hitting .405 (45-for-111) with 12 homers and 31 RBI...was elected to start All-Star Game in Arlington, TX, but was unable to play due to the injury...finished the year by hitting .419 (26-for-62) over final 16 games to wrap up with .336 average...hit 5th career grand slam, first since 1990, taking Cubs' Frank Castillo deep with bases loaded on Sept. 9 in Wrigley.
Led the majors with a career-best 43 home runs in the strike-shortened 115-game season, setting an all-time franchise record (NY and SF) for homers by a 3rd baseman...at the time of the strike he was on pace to tie Roger Maris' then single-season major league record of 61...voted the starting 3rd baseman on the N.L. All-Star team, 1st time elected, 2nd appearance...finished 2nd in the MVP balloting behind Jeff Bagwell, while earning a spot on The Sporting News, Associated Press and Baseball America Post-Season All-Star teams...earned 3rd Rawlings Gold Glove, while also winning Silver Slugger Award...had more extra-base hits (62) than singles (57)...was just heating up at the time of the strike, hitting 5 home runs in final 8 games...40 homers through July 31 set then N.L. record, surpassing previous mark of 36 by Johnny Bench, Willie Mays, Willie Stargell and Mike Schmidt...also set N.L. mark with 33 home runs prior to All-Star break...hit career HR #200 off Cincinnati's Erik Hanson on August 1...tied a then career-best 16-game hitting streak (July 20-August 6).
Rebounded from sub-par 1992 season to finish 2nd in N.L. in total bases (325), 2nd in extra-base hits (75), 3rd in homers (38), 3rd in slugging (.561), 5th in RBI (110) and 6th in runs (105)...finished 6th in MVP vote and was named the UPI Comeback Player-of-the-Year...was also named the top 3rd baseman in the majors by Associated Pressb&season mark of .294 was a 67-point increase over '92 season, the biggest gain in the N.L., and 53 points over career average entering the year...teamed with Barry Bonds (46 HR) to produce SF's first 40/30 homer tandem since Bobby Bonds and Willie McCovey in 1969...earned 2nd Rawlings Gold Glove, leading all N.L. 3rd basemen with .970 fielding pct....was on the D.L. from June 28-July 14 with strained abdominal muscle.
Scuffled through .227 season, 2nd lowest in the N.L. among title-qualifiers (Tim Wallach hit .223)...hit a pair of homers on May 13 in Philadelphia, then had the longest home run drought of career, 128 ABbs from May 22-July 7.
Ranked 2nd in the N.L. in home runs (34), 4th in total bases (294) and 10th in RBI (98)...hit 33 home runs as the 3rd baseman, the most ever by a Giant 3rd sacker (also played 4 games at shortstop)...earned first Rawlings Gold Glove, joining Jim Davenport as only Giant 3B to win award...drove in runs in 10 consecutive games (August 27-Sept. 6)...hit career homer #100 off Darryl Kile on October 1.
Led the N.L. in RBI (122), while ranking 4th in home runs (33), 4th in total bases (301) and 8th in extra-base hits (62)...RBI total was most ever by a Giant 3rd baseman, breaking Mel Ottbs mark of 116 in 1938...established then personal best with 16-game hitting streak (June 3-19)...ranked 2nd in N.L. in fielding pct. with .959 mark.
Opened the year as the Giants' 3rd baseman, but wound up splitting the season between S.F. and Phoenix (AAA)...hit 2nd career grand slam on April 9 in Cincy off of Danny Jacksonb&was hitting just .130 (7-for-54) on May 1 and was optioned to Phoenix...NL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES HIGHLIGHTS: had a superb series vs. the Cubs, setting a 5-game record for RBI with 9, featuring a home run and 4 RBI in game #4...WORLD SERIES HIGHLIGHTS: homered off Dave Stewart in game #3 of the vs. Oakland.
Had a pair of stints with the Giants, recalled from Phoenix for the first time on June 2 and started 10 games at short in place of the injured Jose Uribe...hit 3 homers and drove in 9, including first career grand slam on June 4 off Houstonbs Nolan Ryan...had 2nd career 2-homer game on Sept. 24 at Los Angeles...while with Phoenix, tied a 25-year-old PCL record with 4 homers on May 25 vs. Albuquerque.
Assigned to Phoenix, but appeared just once before having contract purchased on April 11...had first major league hit that day off Dodgers' Orel Hershiser...hit first big league homer in Candlestick Park on April 19 off Atlantabs Jeff Dedmon...was the starting shortstop when Giants set major league record for most double plays in 3 games, (13) and 4 games (17), on April 24-27 in Atlanta...NL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES HIGHLIGHTS: replaced Joel Youngblood (broken wrist) on the San Francisco roster vs. St. Louis but did not play.
Signed with Giants in June after being the 3rd overall pick in the June draft and reported to Everett (Rookie)...knocked in 10 runs in 4 games before earning quick promotion to Clinton (A).