Breakfast with Matt Williams and the Beard
Matt Williams has returned to Osaka for the first time since 2001, but this time he has brought the beard and a whole lot of media attention with it.
Last time RHP Matt Williams came to Osaka was in 2001 with his then local club the Campbelltown Cardinals for an Under 16 trip where he played in front of approximately 400 people.
This time around, the Sydney Blue Sox relief pitcher will take to the mound for Team Australia in front of a sell-out Australia v Japan crowd of over 36,000.
“I am looking forward to playing at the Dome and taking it all in” said Matt before the team’s Osaka Dome training session today.
Matt has represented Australia once before at the 2009 IBAF World Cup in Italy and is a relative unknown with the Japanese media. However that all changed during today’s training; with a swarm of media there for Australia’s session, they all wanted to speak with Matt, or ‘the guy with the beard’ as they describe him.
Matt says he was surprised by Manager Deeble’s phone call and selection of him on the WBC roster, but recalls Deeble originally had one condition;
“He said I had to get rid of the beard. Then five minutes after I got off the phone I received a text message from him (Deeble) telling me I had to keep the beard for the WBC trip”.
Perhaps we can put the change of heart down to superstition. So the beard travelled business class with Matt to Taiwan, they’re now in Osaka, and will travel back to Taiwan on Monday for Round 1 of the WBC; building on his already cult following back in Australia along the way.