Monday, March 9, 2009 | midnight
No better baseball player has come through UNLV than Matt Williams. The All-American infielder dominated as a Rebel and became an elite professional ballplayer.
In 17 big league seasons, Williams hit 378 home runs, drove in 1,218 runs and collected a career .268 batting average. He spent the bulk of his career in San Francisco, but also played for the Cleveland Indians and Arizona Diamondbacks.
Known as a strong defender at third base and dangerous hitter, Williams collected four Golden Glove awards and was a five-time All Star Selection.
Wherever Williams went, success seemed to follow him.
The Carson City native was an original member of the Diamondbacks team, and helped the franchise go from an expansion team to a World Series champion (2001) in just four seasons. He also played in two other World Series, with the Giants (1989) and Indians (97).
He played infield with the Rebels from 1984-86, and UNLV eventually retired his jersey. In three seasons with UNLV, Williams hit 58 home runs, with 217 RBI and a career batting average of .327.
In his junior season, Williams hit .351, 25 home runs and drove in 89 RBI during in 57 games. He played shortstop with the Rebels and was inducted into the UNLV Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997.
After three years with the Rebels, Williams was the third player selected in the 1996 Major League draft. Williams role in baseball didn’t end with his career as a player. Williams moved into a broadcasting and executive position, and is currently in a front office position with the Diamondbacks.