Matt Williams’ Grandfather Was a 1924 Washington Senator

No way. How did we miss this. A great article by Tom Boswell (who is the best) uncovers the fact that our current Washington Nationals manager, Matt Williams, is the grandson of Bert (Buck) Griffith, a member of the only team from Washington to win the World Series.

Matt Williams' grandfather, Washington Senators' Bert Griffith
Matt Williams’ grandfather, Washington Senators’ Bert Griffith

Below is a short excerpt from the article.

Williams doesn’t mention the connection often, but he’s proud of it and says he has vague but very pleasant feelings about it, too. “There’s something there — something between my grandfather and me. Gramp got to play in this town for a fantastic team. And now I get to manage a fantastic team in the same city,” Williams said Monday. “It’s a very cool feeling.”

“I have relatives who’ve told me, ‘Boy, you sure look like Bert when he was younger,’ ” said Williams. “I remember him very well, even though he died when I was a boy — about 8. Gramp, nobody called him anything else, was a jolly, loud, barrel-chested man. He’d walk in a room, see a friend and say, ‘Hey, you ol’ so-and-so’ and jump into a conversation.”

The Williams family, including Matt’s three older brothers, lived in the small town of Big Pine, Calif., where Griffith had “a farm and a saloon with a restaurant.” Sounds pretty close to a heart’s-desire combo for a ballplayer born in 1896. “Very fond memories,” said Williams. “The baseball field in Big Pine was Griffith Park. . . . But when I was a boy he lived in Las Vegas, and we drove three-and-a-half hours to see him.”

Bert Griffith, no relation to Senators owner Clark Griffith, had a career more like “Moonlight” Graham from “Field of Dreams” than Hall of Famers such as Goose Goslin or Bucky Harris. He batted .299 in 620 times at the plate, but only a handful of them (nine) were with Washington in 1924. Then he was traded to Kansas City and never played in the bigs again. But his bonhomie seemed to bring him friends.

Read the rest of the Washington Post article here. And here’s another great article by Dan Steinberg (one of our favorites on Twitter @dcsportsbog).

Bert Griffith - Washington Senators
Bert Griffith – Washington Senators

About Tom

Tom founded Ghosts of DC on January 4th, 2012 as a blog to uncover the lost and untold history of Washington, D.C. He has lived in the city for over a decade and loves exploring every corner of the District.

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  • Jessica Ferrer

    Anyone know “Buck’s” jersey number?

    • Prelusive007

      ~0~