Bernie Williams: 5 Reasons the Yankees Legend Needs to Be in the Hall of Fame
Bernie Williams, one of the most loved Yankees by the fans, accomplished some impressive feats during his Yankee tenure. His success in pinstripes almost didn’t transpire earlier in his Yankee years. Williams had become the regular center fielder in 1993. George Steinbrenner considered trading him in 1995, but Buck Showalter, the manager at the time, talked Steinbrenner out of making that giant mistake.
Steinbrenner was known as being controlling and difficult to approach. Thankfully, he listened to Showalter’s advice about Williams.
Each year, the Baseball Writers Association of America votes by mail on eligible candidates for election into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. Bernie Williams is on the Hall of Fame ballot for 2012. Gaining 75 percent or more of the votes to get elected is not an easy task.
Looking back at Williams’ career, I think that he put up consistently strong numbers and earned his place to become enshrined in the sacred halls of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Take a look at five reasons why he should be in the HOF.
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In his breakout season in 1995, he hit 18 home runs and led the Yankees in runs, hits, total bases and stolen bases.
Leading the Yankees into the postseason, he had a .429 batting average against Seattle.
The following year, he improved to a batting average of .467 in the postseason against Texas in the ALDS.
He hit .474 in the ALCS against Baltimore and continued to lead NY to win their first World Series since 1978.
2. The Hitter
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The Yankees set an AL record in 1998 and went 114-48.
Williams played a crucial role in that record, batting a .339 average.
In 1998, Williams became the first player to win a batting title, a Gold Glove Award and a World Series ring in one year.
3. The Fielder
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Williams’ four Gold Glove Awards were well-deserved.
Usually a center fielder, he also was skilled in both corners of the field.
He had the speed and ability to track down fly balls, shorter pop-ups and hard-hit line drives.
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When the 1998 season ended, the Yankees agreed to a seven-year contract with Williams for $87.5 million.
Each year of the contract, Williams improved his statistics, especially in the postseason.
The Yankees made the postseason every year during the length of the contract, further solidifying Williams’ value in NY.
5. Yankees Career
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Williams was a five-time All-Star, a four-time Gold Glove Award recipient and a 2002 Silver Slugger Award winner.
When his career came to an end, he held some impressive records with the Yankees:
- Second all-time in doubles
- Fourth all-time in walks
- Fifth all-time in hits
- Fifth all-time in extra-base hits
- Sixth all-time in home runs
- Sixth all-time in RBI
Williams holds a postseason record of games at 121, 80 RBI and 51 extra-base hits. In addition to all of his many accomplishments, this makes him a viable candidate for election in the Hall of Fame.
Bernie Williams put up solid numbers throughout his career in regular and in postseason games.
We often look up to the athletes who become the biggest stars and expect them to become Hall of Famers.
Sometimes, we neglect to shine the light on athletes like Williams, who may not have had the highest numbers but had a critical effect on the success of the team.
Bernie Williams is that man.
He deserves the honor to be enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.