Bernie Williams

Bernie Williams

September 13, 1968
6' 2"
180 lbs
Major League Debut:
7-07-1991 with NYA
Allstar Selections:
1996 ALCS, 1997 GG, 1998 GG, 1999 GG, 2000 GG, 2002 SS

A quiet and introspective anomaly within the bright lights and clamor of New York City, Bernie Williams rose from inconsistency and the burden of lofty expectations to be become one of the most complete ballplayers of the late 1990s. Heir to the centerfield throne of pinstripe legends Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle, Williams was a model of excellence and dignity both on and off the baseball field who would become one of the Yankees' most popular latter-day stars.

In his youth, Williams played baseball in Puerto Rico's Mickey Mantle League, and as a teenager batted just ahead of future Texas Ranger slugger Juan Gonzalez. A graduate of Escuela Libre de Musica High in San Juan, Williams was a talented classical guitarist who considered forgoing a baseball career in favor of studying music at a conservatory. Deciding that his musical gifts would survive his youth but his baseball skills would not, Williams entertained offers from Philadelphia and Pittsburgh before signing with the Yankees on September 13th, 1985, his seventeenth birthday.


Williams quickly developed a reputation as the jewel of the Yankees farm system, a multi-talented player who was destined for stardom. In 1990, however, he almost quit baseball to return to music after the Yankees asked him to spend another year at Double-A Albany. To Williams the chance of him reaching Yankee Stadium anytime soon seemed slim. "We had an All-Star outfield out there," Williams later recalled. "Rickey Henderson, Dave Winfield, Claudell Washington, just to name a few. In Triple-A, we had Jay Buhner and Roberto Kelly. I thought I had no chance."


Instead of packing it in, Williams concentrated on developing his skills as a switch-hitter, a decision that would reap huge dividends in the years to come. In the second half of 1991 Williams reached the major leagues for the first time, replacing an injured Roberto Kelly as the Yankees' regular centerfielder over the last three months of the season.


Williams hit just .238 in his 320 at-bats that year, and spent most of the following season at Triple-A Columbus. In late July an injury to Danny Tartabull opened up a roster spot, and Williams started the Yankees' final 62 games that year. His .280 average was enough to convince manager Buck Showalter that Williams was ready to leave the minor leagues for good.


Over the next two years, Williams became a fixture in center field and a productive if unspectacular hitter. His reserved and phlegmatic demeanor often led people to believe that he didn't care about his successes or failures on the baseball diamond. He so rarely gave in to overt expressions of emotions that the Yankees and their fans questioned whether he had the passion to become a great ballplayer. As teammate Tim Raines noted, Williams often napped between batting practice and the start of the game. "No joke," said Raines. "He wakes up at 7:15 for a 7:30 game."


Part of Williams' problem in the early years was that the Yankees didn't know exactly how to use him. Although he had good speed, he rarely stole more than fifteen bases in a season and didn't make an ideal leadoff man. At the same time, his power numbers weren't strong enough to justify consistently batting him in the heart of the order. As the Yankees tried to find the proper fit for Williams, owner George Steinbrenner became impatient with his development and openly sought to trade him. Only the adamant support of manager Buck Showalter and general manager Gene Michael kept Williams in pinstripes.


In 1995 Williams would begin to reward the faith Showalter and Michaels had shown in him. As the Yankees clawed their way to their first post-season berth since 1981, Williams posted the first .300 season of his career while blasting eighteen home runs. He led the club in runs, hits, total bases, triples, walks and stolen bases. Immediately following an off-day trip to Puerto Rico to see his newborn daughter Bianca in September, Williams reached base fifteen times in seventeen plate appearances over four games.


Getting his first taste of post-season baseball in the Yankees' five-game Divisional Series loss to Seattle, Williams rose to the occasion. For the series he batted .429 with five runs batted in, and in Game Three he became the first player in major-league history to homer from both sides of the plate in a post-season game.


The following year saw Williams again top .300 while shattering his previous bests with 29 home runs and 102 RBIs. In the post-season he would deliver two more superlative performances while finally shaking the label of a dispassionate underachiever. While his old friend Juan Gonzalez tied a playoff record with five home runs in a single playoff series, it was Williams who stole the show, playing with more fire than his teammates or fans had known he possessed. Yankee starter David Cone said, "There was unbelievable intensity in Bernie's eyes. I saw something I hadn't seen before ... Just the look on his face in the dugout."


In the final game of the series at The Ballpark in Arlington, Williams matched his own record by again going deep from both sides of the plate. The first blast tied the game in the fifth inning, and the second extended the Yankees' lead to two in the ninth. Former Yankee Reggie Jackson, who knew more than most about performing under the pressure of the postseason, said that "this was about Bernie battling to be accepted as a great player. He wants people to hold him in that regard."


If there was still any doubt, Williams put it to rest by all but personally escorting the Yankees into the World Series. In the League Championship Series vs. Baltimore, Williams won Game One with a monstrous eleventh-inning home run off Randy Myers, tied the pivotal Game Three with a two out eighth-inning hit off Mike Mussina, and gave the Yankees the lead in Game Four with a two-run first inning homer off Rocky Coppinger. After the Yankees wrapped up the pennant the next day with a 6-4 win at Camden Yards, Williams, who batted .474 in the five games, was named MVP of the Series.


Although he recorded just four hits in 24 at-bats during the Yankees' six-game World Series triumph, Williams made each of them count. After the Braves had taken the first two games in New York, Williams broke open a tight Game Three by launching a two-run eighth-inning home run. Despite his low hit total, Williams led the Yankees with four RBIs.


Now a certifiable hero, Williams was embraced by New York as a renaissance man and an intellectual in the often Philistine world of baseball. Visitors to the Yankees' clubhouse would often hear Williams picking at his Fender Stratocaster in the hours before gametime (he once displayed his musical talents at The Bottom Line, a Greenwich Village music club) and his bespectacled eyes suggested the academic world more than the sports world.


Even at the plate Williams seemed more student than athlete. Few great hitters have looked so inelegant with a bat in their hands. Lacking the gorgeous natural swing of a Griffey or the raw power of a McGwire, Williams instead went about the business of hitting as if he were solving a physics problem, using an approach more reasoned than reactive.


Whatever method he employed, the results were indisputable. Following his post-season heroics in 1996 Williams raised his batting average to .328 in 1997, showing remarkable consistency by batting .329 from the left side and .326 as a right hander. Despite a hamstring injury that limited him to 129 games, he drove in 33 runs in his final 34 games to finish with an even 100 RBIs for the season. He also won his first Gold Glove for his defensive excellence in centerfield. The season ended sadly for Williams, though, as he registered just two hits in seventeen at bats during the Yankees' five-game loss to the underdog Cleveland Indians in the Division Series. With two outs in the ninth inning of the final game, Williams ended the Series by flying out to left field with the tying run on second base, a failure which lingered with him throughout the offseason.


Driven by the disappointing end to the 1997 season, both Williams and the Yankees were determined to make amends in 1998. While New York ran away from the rest of the American League with a league-record 114 wins, Williams beat out Boston's Mo Vaughn on the final day of the season to win the AL batting title with a .339 mark. Although Williams continued to reverse his early post-season success with three subpar series (his lone hit in sixteen World Series at bats was a two-run homer in Game Two) the Yankees went 11-2 in the post-season, including a four-game World Series sweep of San Diego to win their 24th Championship.


After the Series, speculation grew that Williams was no longer happy playing in New York, and that he might seek greener financial pastures elsewhere. Pushed to explore the free-agent market by agent Scott Boras, Williams was hotly pursued by the Arizona Diamondbacks and Boston Red Sox -- among others -- but a seven-year, $85 million contract helped him decide to stay in New York. 



Bernie Williams at bat.


The last year covered by his contract, 2005, proved to be a difficult one. He started 99 games in center field and 22 games as designated hitter, but his already weak arm was highlighted as his fielding and batting abilities considerably weakened. He had a career-worst .321 OBP and batting average on balls in play (.274). As expected, the Yankees announced on August 2, 2005, that they would not pick up the $15 million option on Williams' contract for the 2006 season, opting to pay a $3.5 million buyout instead. In December Williams was offered arbitration by team general manager Brian Cashman to allow an additional month for negotiation. On December 22, the Yankees re-signed Williams to a 1-year, $1.5 million contract.


In 2006, Williams saw a good amount of playing time in the corner outfield spots with both Hideki Matsui and Gary Sheffield out with wrist injuries, and did spot duty in center field on days when starting center fielder Johnny Damon was given time off to rest, playing more than was expected when he signed his one-year extension with the Yankees in 2006.

Williams played for Puerto Rico in the 2006 MLB World Baseball Classic, joining Carlos Delgado, Carlos Beltrán, Mike Lowell,Javier Vázquez, and José Vidro amongst others representing the island nation in a team managed by St. Louis Cardinals third base coach Jose Oquendo.

On July 26, 2006, Williams got his 2,300th career hit, becoming the 11th active player in the Majors with 2,300 or more career hits. Bernie continued to climb the Yankees record books by hitting his 443rd career double on August 16, 2006, surpassing then-bench coach Don Mattingly for second-most as a Yankee. For the year, he walked only 7.3% of the time, a career-worst.


After two years of inactivity, Williams returned to action playing for the Gigantes de Carolina in the Puerto Rico Baseball League (formerly LBPPR) interested in gauging his condition prior to a possible participation in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. reported on December 30, 2008 that Bernie Williams had injured his quad while playing for Carolina and may not be able to play in the World Baseball Classic for Puerto Rico.

On February 19, 2009 Williams worked out with the Yankees at the team's spring training complex. Williams hinted that if he performs well in the World Baseball Classic he might consider returning to the Yankees, or perhaps another major league baseball team.[citation needed] Williams, a fan favorite with the Yankees during the Joe Torre era, still has several friends and former teammates in pinstripes.

Out of contract

Williams' contract expired at the end of the 2006 season. He had hoped to return to the Yankees in 2007 and was willing to accept a role as a back-up outfielder and pinch hitter.[citation needed] The Yankees offered Williams an invitation to spring training as a non-roster invitee, giving him a chance to compete for a job. Williams, however, wanted a guaranteed roster spot and declined the invitation.

On September 21, 2008, Williams made his first return to Yankee Stadium since 2006 for the ceremonies preceding the final game at the stadium. He was the last former player to be introduced and received a standing ovation that lasted a minute and 42 seconds.

In March 2009 he played for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic, going 0-for-5 with two walks; after the series concluded, he expressed interest in playing in the Major Leagues again.

Though he has not played in Major League Baseball, Williams never officially retired. At the February 2011 retirement press conference for Andy Pettitte, Williams acknowledged that his career was over and stated that he would officially announce his retirement soon thereafter.

Career perspective

As of 2007, he holds career postseason records for games (121), runs batted in (80) and extra base hits (51). On October 5, in Game 2 of the 2007 American League Division Series, Manny Ramírez broke Bernie's post-season home run record of 22 when he hit a walk-off home run off then-Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim's closer Francisco Rodríguez.

Standing on Yankee all-time lists as of the beginning of the 2008 season:

  • 2nd all-time in doubles

  • 4th all-time in walks

  • 5th all-time in hits

  • 5th all-time in extra-base hits

  • 6th all-time in home runs

  • 6th all-time in RBIs


Music career


Williams greeting fans during a pregame musical performance at the new Yankee Stadium in 2009


A classically trained guitarist, Williams plays and composes music with influences that include jazz, classical, pop, Brazilian, and Latin sounds. Following his career with the New York Yankees, he studied guitar and composition for a year at the State University of New York at Purchase in preparation for his album, "Moving Forward".

Williams signed with Paul McCartney's publishing company, MPL Communications, and his major label debut, The Journey Within, was released on June 22, 2003. In addition to playing lead and rhythm guitar, Williams composed seven songs for the album. Tracks like “La Salsa En Mi” and “Desvelado” mix Bernie’s love of jazz with the sophisticated Latin rhythms of his Puerto Rican heritage.

The first single was a remix of his “Just Because”, featuring David Benoit. Other highlights include Williams’ heartfelt tribute to his father, “Para Don Berna”, a reworking of the Baden Powell song, “Samba Novo”, and “La Salsa En Mi”, featuring background vocals from 2003Grammy Winner Ruben Blades and salsa legend Gilberto Santa Rosa. Also joining Williams is an all-star ensemble of musicians including multiple Grammy-winning banjo player Béla Fleck, keyboardist David Sancious, percussionist Luis Conte, bassist Leland Sklar, guitarist Tim Pierce, and drummers Kenny Aronoff and Shawn Pelton, among others.

Bernie's second major album, Moving Forward, was released on April 14, 2009 under the Reform Records label. The album features fourteen tracks and includes some collaborative tracks with other artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Patti Scialfa, Jon Secada, andDave Koz.

On September 17, 2009, Bernie Williams was nominated for a Latin Grammy for his latest album, Moving Forward.

As of Spring of 2010 Williams was participating in the World Rhythms Tour with Basia. On July 18, 2010 he performed at the 2010 Central American and Caribbean Games opening ceremony.

In July, 2011, Williams' book, "Rhythms of the Game" ", co-authored by Williams, Dave Gluck and Bob Thompson with a foreword by Paul Simon will be published by Hal Leonard Publishing.

This day in baseball history

August 28

  • 1996

    On August 28, 1996, the Atlanta Braves acquire 14-game winne ...

  • 1990

    On August 28, 1990, Ryne Sandberg of the Chicago Cubs become ...

  • 1977

    On August 28, 1977, Steve Garvey of the Los Angeles Dodgers ...

More Baseball History

Sponsored Links

Bernie Williams (New York Yankees)


  • bobsky said:

    belt is often a name synonymous with trendy fashion. The designs are modern, the lenses as well as the supplies used of top rated top quality. A single feels inspired when wearing belt sunglasses and when you see the costs provided on the web, you can not abstain from obtaining at the very least a pair. Providing enhanced protection, belt sunglasses have lenses created from powerful synthetic materials. If you'd like maximum protection against direct sunlight while keeping your quite own style sense, then they are the sunglasses you should select. Appealing rates are topped off with extraordinary designs and cost-free shipping, producing it quite convenient for cheap Hermes belts personally to buy sunglasses on the web. Once you think about shopping for one of the belt sunglasses, you consider adding a brand new and stylish accessory for your wardrobe. The entire collection presented on the internet bears a classic trademark but we are able to also see contemporary influences from today is fashion tendencies. Innovation has always been a optimistic feature of belt collections, from the timeless Aviator towards the newly created sunglasses. Even the frame colors are impressive, with tortoise, matte black and polarized grey as superb alternatives. Most of these sunglasses are unisex and the oval shape is one of the best favorites. And yes, you are offered a free of charge T-shirt with each order.

    Talking about reputed names with the fashion market, it truly is not possible not to mention among the legendary designers, Gucci. Often sustaining a specific taste for classical types, Gucci sunglasses are preferred by many persons. They provide one a sense of being contemporary, possessing one of a kind styles and fantastic particulars. The truth is the fact that Gucci sunglasses are somehow a blend between old and contemporary style tendencies, enabling one particular to appear casual and but so trendy. It is not difficult to understand why Gucci sunglasses are so preferred, specifically if we take into consideration this designer reputation. Fashion has undoubtedly taken a new turn given that this brand appeared. Gucci sunglasses are often worn so as to make a unique style statement. Obtaining unique and incredibly desirable touches, these sunglasses are often purchased by sturdy and lovely ladies. They would like to appear fashionable and modern, defending their eyes from direct sunlight at the very same time. At the same time, they know everybody will appreciate the way they dress and all of the accessories they put on. Gucci sunglasses are simple to recognize, not merely as a consequence of their design and style but in addition due to the fact of your bold logos. Each detail is impressive in relation to Gucci sunglasses as well as the highest high quality impresses as usually.

    cheap Hermes belts

    You will find a number of items in life which are valuable and cherished forever and Rolex replica watches are certainly one of them. Though really many folks need to put on an original Rolex watch, they cannot afford to buy them just because of its sheer value. Rolex replica watches give such men a possibility to flaunt a Rolex look-alike on their wrist. Do not be fooled by the name with the watch. Even though it truly is not the original, the look, really feel and craftsmanship with the Rolex replica watches are distinctive and are bound to fool even the connoisseur who knows all to effectively in regards to the original. You'll be able to pick from a wide range of models and most of the Rolex watch models are also accessible as cheap Ferragamo belts. 11:15PM 08/27/15

  • guus noe said: Fat diminisher is different from other weight loss program, do not need to bother counting calories, not a strict diet program that starving yourself, etc. Besides as weight loss program, fat diminisher also have great benefit in maintaining health of our body, improve metabolism, regenerate and rejuvenate our body, normalize our cholesterol levels, prevent diabetes, normalize blood pressure and others. 4:24AM 08/26/15
  • problem31 said: One week business Revelation (2012.9.1-2012.9.7) first week of September, capital laboratory 'Apocalypse' included a total of 17 information. Among them, 5 cases involving e-commerce industry, software services industry 3 cases, and 2 cases Nike Free Run Shoes of copyright protection related topics. In 17 messages, special concern are: 1. With Victoria Cotton closed, red kids looking Nike Air Max to Nike Air Max 2014 buy, vertical electric providers Zhaxian crisis. Under the platform type electric providers squeeze, need Nike Air Max 90 (Womens) food for thought: Who next drained vertical electrical Chamber of Commerce is in the Nike Running end what kind of vertical electric providers to achieve barbaric survival 2 where customers wind up its own logistics business contraction??. seek cooperation with Suning; footwear predators Daphne try Hydropower Company, by frustration (which led investment Yao point 100 has been closed down, the Nike Air Max 2014 Women official website of the same electricity supplier slow progress). This combination of two pieces of information together, can be said to be meaningful: on the one hand, the traditional business of electricity providers have their own advantages, pure electric commercial enterprises Bukebufang; on the other hand, there are also inherent traditional companies must learn to pure electricity supplier . The two are not Air Jordan Men natural enemies, merging overwhelming, then how both learn from each other in terms of experience, resources, capital, platforms, go more Nike Air Max 90 Flower Women Nike Nike Shox Air Max 2014 Men smoothly? 3. Mr. Kai-fu Lee to bring a number of Chinese entrepreneurs, investors Nike Air Max 2015 and citron Taking a debate discussions triggered just begun, there was support, someone Nike Lunar sigh. Behind this debate, there are many worthy of listed and to be listed companies in the United States thought-provoking questions: (1) shall share in the past two years, frustrated, crying one, by chance or by necessity (2) flies do not hover? eggs, if you have a seam that (3) in Air Jordan 11 the hills of others sing, in the end what kind of explicit rules and unspoken rules, if you've fully digested (4) When you do get Nike Lebron 11 to play \u0026 ldquo;?? Black Gun \u0026 rdquo ; how reasonable, unashamedly defend their rights, and give newcomers valuable insight into this debate I want to remind that you should look at \u0026 ldquo; citron \u0026 rdquo; Web site (http:? //www.citronresearch .com /) and open Mr. fu \u0026 ldquo; citron Fraud \u0026 rdquo; website ( 4. The areas of concern this week in the copyright information relating to music and literature: In the digital age, the music industry at the same time a new life, and musicians living conditions but did not Nike Shoes not much better. In addition, the recent grand literary condone piracy boycott Cheap Nike Free Outlet call search engine, so Air Jordan Women that we know more Nike Air Max 90 BR Women about the rampant online piracy of literary works. We advocate: whether it is music Air Jordan Outlet or literature, full Nike Shoes Global of effort, so valuable, please refuse to piracy, given their deserved reward authors say goodbye !!! 5: A Hundred Years of Botou matches through the stage of history; Lucky finally discontinued color film, but in the medical, printing industry breakthrough worth the wait; Windows XP is nearing completion historic mission CURRY ONE Nike Blazers High began Xingran give way; netbook comes and go, decided to stop production Asus Eee PC is just a microcosm; Intel super This is not looks so beautiful, Wintel alliance is equally dangerous; born wealthy dessert after a difficult struggle began to shrink in Air Lebron Slide transition, transformed by the ROM makers from App platform vendors. Anyway great product, can not do nothing billowing Social changes and business trends, you can do is: move forward a little more Nike Air Max 20K Seven Women consideration, even if only Nike Air Presto Shoes a little. Report: Week of Revelation details ID event protagonist industry / topic an all Nike SB Shoes passengers wind up shrinking behind: all-round cooperation with Suning brewing Eslite e-commerce 2 vertical electric providers fear of being price system collapse: collapse or initiation scale Victoria Cotton vertical electric provider of e-commerce and other business-related traditional 3 Hydropower Company troubled: institutional weaknesses and cognitive into the shackles of Nike Air Max 90 Camouflage Women traditional enterprise e-Daphne 4 Redbaby loss rumors Suning intends to acquire e-commerce Redbaby 5 NDRC: electricity supplier price war fraud Jingdong Mall, Suning, Gome last days of e-commerce 6Windows XP: zombie reject Microsoft software and services fell 7 dessert shrink Transition: Innovation workshop inexperienced graduates of the first software services difficult dessert Apple App 8 Iron Chef shook off the Nike Blazers Low shelf or suspected Iron Chef shook plagiarism software services 9 Lucky color film began to clean shutdown-related assets and inventory Lucky 10 centuries of living has changed Botou matches bankruptcy dependent \u0026 ldquo; Yanghuogou \u0026 rdquo; Botou match history of living 11 musicians \u0026 ldquo; Nike Free black \u0026 rdquo ;: streaming service just sounds beautiful? Music streaming platform copyright protection 12 grand literary appeal to the search engine shield piracy site Shanda literature and copyright protection 13 Intel ultra-pole of this sale is expected to burst Wintel alliance will be the collapse of the Wintel IT manufacturing 14 ASUS discontinued Eee PC: plans to completely withdraw from Internet market ASUS IT manufacture more than 1560 entrepreneurs protest spreading lies citron citron, Kai-fu Lee like everyone takes stock 16 into the gaming business as investors worried about the stock fell 7% Renren social network Nike Blazers 17 merchants fled behind the Zhongguancun e world: thousands of monthly rent yuan nobody cares Zhongguancun e world of commercial real estate notes: 'Apocalypse' concerns the commercial sector, lessons, risks and difficult to reverse the trend. More reports please venue to: Capital laboratory to read this report by the \u0026 ldquo; capital Lab \u0026 rdquo; (microblogging: http: // and \u0026 ldquo; i horse \u0026 rdquo; co-produced, this article by the Capital Lab founder Ran Wei, Sun Wanqing co-authored the original reading, download address: http: // If you encounter any problems in the process of reading the report, please contact, look forward to your comments and suggestions! 10:54PM 08/12/15
Login or register to post comments

Stay Connected

Share |

Today's Poll

Will Red Sox Repeat in 2014:
Browse Player Profiles