Gary Matthews

Gary Matthews

Gary Matthews
Left fielder / Right fielder
Born: (1950-07-05) July 5, 1950
San Fernando, California
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 6, 1972, for the San Francisco Giants
Last MLB appearance
October 2, 1987, for the Seattle Mariners
MLB statistics
Batting average .281
Home runs 234
Runs batted in 978
Career highlights and awards

Gary Nathaniel Matthews Sr. (born July 5, 1950), nicknamed Sarge, is an American former left fielder in Major League Baseball. He was a color commentator for the Philadelphia Phillies.[1] From 1972 through 1987, Matthews played for the San Francisco Giants, Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs and Seattle Mariners. He batted and threw right-handed. He is the father of former major leaguer Gary Matthews Jr.[2]


  • Biography 1
  • Playing career 2
  • Coaching career 3
  • Broadcast career 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


He played for the Cubs from 1984 to 1987 and served as the organization's minor league hitting coordinator from 1995 to 1997. Matthews was named first base coach before the 2005 season and was also responsible for outfield and baserunning instruction. He served as the club's hitting coach from 2003 to 2004. As a player, Matthews went to the postseason after the 1981, 1983 and 1984 campaigns and was voted the MVP of the 1983 NLCS when he hit three home runs and collected 8 RBI in four games, leading the Phillies past the Los Angeles Dodgers into the World Series. As a coach, Matthews went to the postseason with the Cubs in 2003. He also spent two years (2000–01) as a color analyst on Toronto Blue Jays broadcasts. Matthews' son, Gary Jr., has played in the majors with the San Diego Padres (1999, 2003), the Cubs (2000–01), the Pittsburgh Pirates (2001), the New York Mets (2002), the Baltimore Orioles (2002–03), the Texas Rangers (2004–06), and is with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim as of 2007. The Matthews are one of just seven father/son combinations in Cubs history; another son, Delvon, was a member of Milwaukee's minor league system in 2000–01.

Playing career

Matthews was selected in the first round of the June 1968 draft by the San Francisco Giants. He began his professional career in 1969 playing for the Giants' Decatur Commodores (A) affiliate in Decatur, Illinois. In 1973, his first complete season, he won the National League Rookie of the Year award.[3]

Matthews batted .281 during his 16-season major league career with San Francisco (1972–76), Atlanta (1977–80), Philadelphia (1981–83), the Chicago Cubs (1984–87) and Seattle (1987). He appeared in 2,033 games and recorded 2,011 hits, 234 homers and 978 RBI while scoring 1,083 runs. Matthews was the National League Rookie of the Year in 1973 after batting .300 with 12 homers and 58 RBI for the Giants. He had his best overall season with the Braves in 1979, going to the All-Star Game during a season in which he batted .304 with 27 homers and 90 RBI.

Matthews saw postseason action with the Phillies in 1981 and 1983. He homered 7 times in 19 playoff games and was voted the MVP of the 1983 NLCS after leading the Phillies past Los Angeles into the World Series. In the 4-game series, he went 6-for-14 with three homers and eight RBIs. He was also a key contributor to the Cubs' NL Eastern Division title in 1984, batting .291 with 101 runs scored. He had been acquired with outfielder Bob Dernier and pitcher Porfi Altamirano in a spring training deal with Philadelphia for pitcher Bill Campbell and catcher Mike Diaz. In the first game of the 1984 NL Championship Series against San Diego, he homered twice. He spent three seasons as a starter in left field for the Cubs. Matthews was limited by injuries in 1987 before being traded in mid-season to Seattle for minor league pitcher Dave Hartnett.

In his 16-season career, Matthews batted .281 with 234 home runs and 978 RBIs in 2033 games. He finished with 183 career stolen bases, 1083 runs scored and 319 doubles. He had 2011 hits in 7147 at bats. He also showed decent plate discipline, with a lifetime .364 OBP, and a career high of .410.

His last Major League at-bat was off of Texas Rangers pitcher Mitch Williams. Sarge singled, but was picked off in the next at-bat ending the ballgame.

Coaching career

After retiring as a player following the 1987 season, Matthews worked in private industry and broadcasting before joining the Cubs' organization in 1995 as minor league hitting coordinator, a position he held for three years. He left the Cubs in 1998 to become Toronto's hitting coach; he was a member of the Blue Jays' coaching staff for two years, then joined their broadcast team for two seasons. Matthews returned to the field in 2002 as Milwaukee's hitting coach and served as a coach for the Cubs in 2003–06.

Broadcast career

Matthews began his broadcast career as a radio commentator for the Toronto Blue Jays (2000–01) and as a studio analyst on Headline Sports Television, a Canadian cable network based in Toronto. After concluding his coaching career following the 2006 season, Matthews served as a color analyst for the Philadelphia Phillies from 2007 to 2013. During his first year in Philadelphia's booth, Matthews provided analysis for the entire game alongside Harry Kalas and Chris Wheeler (Kalas provided play-by-play for innings 1-3 and 7-9 while doing the 4th on radio and taking the 5th and 6th off. Wheeler relieved Kalas during the middle three innings while doing color analysis with Matthews the rest of the game). For the remainder of his Phillies broadcast tenure, Matthews provided analysis for only the middle three innings. Following Phillies victories from 2008 to 2011, Matthews would also conduct a brief on-field interview with a player who made a key contribution in that day's game.[4]

On January 8, 2014, Matthews and Wheeler were relieved of their commentary duties with the Jamie Moyer and Matt Stairs were hired to replace them.

See also


  1. ^ "Phillies All-Time Broadcasters". Retrieved 9 October 2010. 
  2. ^ "Gary Nathaniel Matthews Jr. (Little Sarge and Sarge Jr.)". Retrieved 9 October 2010. 
  3. ^ Pietrusza, David; Matthew Silverman; Gershman, Michael (2000). Baseball: The Biographical Encyclopedia. New York: Total Sports. pp. 724–725.  
  4. ^

External links

  • Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Mike Schmidt
National League Player of the Month
September 1981
Succeeded by
Dale Murphy
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Gene Tenace
Toronto Blue Jays Hitting Coach
Succeeded by
Cito Gaston
Preceded by
Rod Carew
Milwaukee Brewers Hitting Coach
Succeeded by
Butch Wynegar
Preceded by
Jeff Pentland
Chicago Cubs Hitting Coach
Succeeded by
Gene Clines
Preceded by
Gene Clines
Chicago Cubs First Base Coach
Succeeded by
Matt Sinatro