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Gary Nathaniel Matthews Sr. (born July 5 1950 in San Fernandomarker, Californiamarker) is a former left fielder in Major League Baseball. He now serves as a color commentator for the Philadelphia Phillies. From through , Matthews played for the San Francisco Giants, Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs and Seattle Mariners. He batted and threw right-handed. Nicknamed "the Sarge", he is the father of big leaguer Gary Matthews Jr.

Biography

Matthews currently does color commentary for the Philadelphia Phillies. 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 (2000-2001) 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 (2000-2001), the Pittsburgh Pirates (2001), the New York Mets (2002), the Baltimore Orioles (2002-2003), the Texas Rangers (2004-2006), 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 2000-2001.

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, Illinoismarker. In 1973, his first complete season, he won the National League Rookie of the Year award.

Matthews batted .281 during his 16-season major league career with San Francisco (1972-1976), Atlanta (1977-1980), Philadelphia (1981-1983), the Cubs (1984-1987) 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 from 2003-06.

Broadcast career

Since the start of the 2007 season, Matthews has been a color commentator for the Philadelphia Phillies. Sarge, as he is known to fans, former teammates, and colleagues, delivers commentary grounded in his playing and coaching career, often explaining the strategy being employed and chiding players who do not carry out their roles as they should. He makes frequent references to former Houston Astros pitcher and good friend J. R. Richard during telecasts, as well as to his son. When commentating on a replay of a home run, Matthews will often use his trademark broadcasting line, "Cadillac time, see ya later!"

Matthews also sometimes combines "Cadillac time" with another catchphrase such as "Kodak moment" to describe a perfectly executed swing from a batter.

During a Phillies' Broadcast in July 2009, the former Phillies "Dream Week" Commissioner inferred that Hawaii was Shane Victorino's home country.

Hat enthusiast

Matthews' rise as a color commentator has been attributed to his fedora collection. The Philadelphia Phillies fan blog The Fightins helped build the legend with slideshows, frequent posts, and general affection for his fedora hats. Due to the combination of the website the Fightins and the Sarge's infectious personality, Matthews has become a fan favorite in Philadelphia, as almost everyone eagerly awaits for "cadillac time."

See also



External links



References

  1. Phillies Versus Reds, 07/07/2009, Comcast Sports Network Broadcast, Top of the Sixth Inning: Matthews talking to Tom McCarthy about Victorino, "Keep in mind. Shane does a lot of things there, in Hawaii, for people in his home country...visible."



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