Nevada baseball legend keynote speaker at Wolf Pack fundraising event
Matt Williams, manager of the Washington Nationals and arguably the best Nevada-born baseball player ever, will be the featured speaker at the 31st annual Bobby Dolan Baseball Dinner tonight. The dinner will be hosted by the Silver Legacy Resort and Casino in downtown Reno.
“We are honored to have Matt Williams be our speaker for the Bobby Dolan Baseball Dinner,” said Nevada head coach Jay Johnson.
“Matt’s playing career and start to his managerial career speaks for itself and we could not be more excited to have one of this area’s own come back and be a big part of this great night for our program.”
Tickets are $150 per person at the event, which consists of a cocktail and social hour at 5:30 p.m., a sit-down dinner at 6:30 p.m., a live and silent baseball memorabilia auction and speeches from Williams and Wolf Pack head baseball coach Jay Johnson.
A native of Carson City, Williams was named the fifth manager of the Nationals on Nov. 1, 2013, replacing Davey Johnson.
In William’s first season as a manager in the MLB ranks, the Nationals posted the best record in the National League and reached the NL Division Series, where they were eliminated in four games by the San Francisco Giants.
Williams was the third base coach on Kirk Gibson’s Arizona Diamondbacks coaching staff for four seasons prior to the Nationals. Williams also managed the Salt River Rafters and the Mobile BayBears following his playing career.
Earning four Gold Gloves as a third basemen, Williams played in the MLB for a total of 17 seasons with the Diamondbacks (1998-03), Indians (1997) and Giants (1987-96).
He played for 11 winning teams and reached the postseason six times, winning three pennants and the World Series with the Diamondbacks in 2001. A five-time all-star, Williams hit .268 with 338 doubles, 378 homers, 1,218 RBI and 997 runs scored in his professional career.
Williams was born in Bishop, Calif., before moving to Carson City and playing baseball and football for Carson High. Williams attended UNLV, where he set the program record for home runs and had his No. 15 retired after being inducted into the school’s athletic hall of fame.
The Wolf Pack opens the season on Feb. 13, beginning with a three-game series against Abilene Christian in Abilene, Texas. Coach Johnson and Nevada returns 21 letterwinners from last year’s 31-win team, while welcoming 11 freshmen and eight transfers into the fray.