SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Former Arizona third baseman Matt Williams announced Tuesday he is becoming a partner in the Diamondbacks and will invest $3 million in the club over the next 10 years.
Williams, who joined the expansion Diamondbacks in 1998, will own one-half of 1 percent of the team, paying $300,000 a year via a deferred investment that allows him to pay 10 percent each year. The commissioner's office approved Williams, a formality in the process.
"I think I had an opportunity like no other that I've had," said Williams, who was hired in February as a special assistant to Jeff Moorad, the Diamondbacks' general partner. "That doesn't come around very often."
Managing partner Ken Kendrick and Moorad presented the idea to Williams "some time ago" and he talked it over with his wife and kids before making the decision.
The couple have four children -- ages 15, 14, 12 and 14 months -- and wanted to make sure this would be a wise financial decision. The fact Williams could make annual payments was a plus.
"Certainly for anybody that's a lot of money," Williams said. "You have to definitely think about it. Since I've been retired I've done a lot of things, but there's only one thing I really know, and that's baseball. ... It keeps me in the game and keeps me active within all aspects of it. That part of it was a
Three seasons after winning one of the most dramatic World Series in history in seven games over the Yankees, the Diamondbacks finished 51-111 last season -- 14 games worse than their 1998 expansion year. The 111 losses are tied for eighth-most in baseball history.
Arizona went through an ownership reorganization last year in an
effort to turn things around, highlighted by the addition of
Moorad, the former player agent, to replace Jerry Colangelo.
Colangelo resigned as chief executive officer four months ahead of schedule.
"I was ecstatic a month ago when Matt agreed to return to the organization as a special assistant, and now having him as part of our ownership group is icing on the cake," Moorad said.
The team has been actively selling these limited partnerships.
"Our general partnership is thrilled that one of our former players, one of the most respected in our short history, has the desire to become part of our ownership group," Kendrick said in a statement. "Matt Williams is synonymous with Diamondback baseball and now his legacy will also include that of ownership."
Williams, 39, has been working as an adviser to manager Bob Melvin during spring training. Williams assists the team in the
baseball operations department and does some broadcasting on radio
"Needless to say I'm excited about it," he said. "It will be
a lot of fun to be part of this for a long time, and do what I can
to help us get back where we want to be. ... Right now I'm doing
what I can to help everybody and wear a lot of hats, which is
Williams, a five-time All-Star, retired from playing in 2003
after 17 major league seasons.
He made the announcement at Scottsdale Stadium before Arizona
played the San Francisco Giants, his first major league team.