The Korea Baseball Organization is the most high-profile baseball league going right now, and a former notable name from Major League Baseball just got into the win column for the first time.?
Matt Williams, come on down. Williams, who took over as the manager of the Kia Tigers this season, guided the team to its first win of the year on Thursday, beating the Kiwoom Heroes, 8-5. Williams, 54, is just the third American-born manager to pick up a KBO victory.?
Williams was a decorated player and coach in the United States. The five-time All-Star won four Gold Gloves and four Silver Sluggers during a 17-year MLB career. He never won an MVP, but he finished second once and third once. Williams hit .268/.317/.489 (113 OPS+) with 378 homers and 1,218 RBI. He led the majors with 43 homers in a strike-shortened 1994 (only 112 games, so he was on pace to challenge Roger Maris' 61 at the time).?
He was a member of pennant-winning teams with both the Giants and Indians before winning the World Series with the 2001 Diamondbacks.?
Post-playing career, Williams went into coaching. He started as a first-base coach for the Diamondbacks, working his way up to manager with the Nationals, where he won the NL East and NL Manager of the Year in 2014. He was fired after a disappointing 83-79 follow up in 2015. Most recently, Williams coached with the A's in 2018 and 2019.?
This is the third biggest feather in the cap of Williams in 2020, after being named to both theand all-time starting lineups by yours truly. It's been a banner year for Williams, really.?