Ex-Diamondbacks player, coach Matt Williams diagnosed with colon cancer

Arizona Diamondbacks third base coach Matt Williams walks in the dugout before a baseball game...
Arizona Diamondbacks third base coach Matt Williams walks in the dugout before a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Thursday, May 5, 2016, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)(Lynne Sladky | AP)
Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 4:30 PM MST
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SAN DIEGO (3TV/CBS 5/AP) -- A household name Arizona Diamondbacks fans recognize announced he is battling a serious health condition. Former D-backs player Matt Williams has been diagnosed with colon cancer and will have surgery on Friday.

Williams, currently the San Diego Padres third base coach, said he learned about his condition roughly three weeks ago. “I don’t have any symptoms, I don’t have any issues, but at this point it’s important that we get it out of there,” Williams said. The Padres said Williams will be away from the team for an unknown time.

The good news is that preliminary scans show that the cancer hasn’t spread, according to Williams. “That’s a good thing, so we’ll see how it goes from here. I’ll do what I can and fight as hard as I can to get back as quickly as possible,” he said.

The 57-year-old spent six seasons with the Diamondbacks and was part of the legendary 2001 World Series team. He and former teammate Luis Gonzalez hold the team record for the most RBIs in one season, totaling 142. He also served as a first base and third base coach with the Diamondbacks from 2010-2013 and 2016. He’s won four Gold Glove Awards and four Silver Slugger Awards.

Williams also managed the Washington Nationals for two seasons and was the NL Manager of the Year in 2014. He was manager Bob Melvin’s third base coach in Oakland in 2018-19 and joined Melvin’s Padres staff last season. “I’ve been with Matt on five different teams, I’ve known him for over 35 years and he might be the toughest guy I’ve ever come across in baseball,” Melvin said. “I know in particular he’s going to give this the fiercest effort of his life and he’s going to beat it. Our players have been fully supportive of him. It’s hard being so close to somebody and knowing he has to deal with it but I know he is and I know he’s going to beat it.”