Bernie Williams: A New York Yankee Legend—Hall Of Famer?

Darren MontgomeryContributor IJanuary 28, 2009

Bernie Williams was born Sep. 13, 1968 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Bernabe Figueroa Williams dawned the pinstripes for the first time on July 7, 1991 against the Baltimore Orioles. He went one for three with two RBI.  This would be a sign of things to come for the next 16 years, as Bernie held down center field at Yankee Stadium. 

Bernie's lifetime numbers don't jump off the page by any means, but his level of consistency and post-season prowess—one of the most clutch postseason hitters of all time—certainly do. 

Over 16 seasons in the major leagues, Bernie's career batting average stands at a Hall of Fame-level .297, while averaging 22 HR, 98 RBI, and 35 doubles per year.  He patrolled center field in a large Yankee Stadium, and only committed an astounding 48 errors.  Bernie was a four-time Gold Glove winner and six-time All-Star representative.

In postseason play, Bernie was involved in 25 series. He tallyed a stat line of .275, 22 HR, and 80 RBI.  Bernie holds two postseason records—80 RBI and 51 extra base hits.  Manny Ramirez just beat his home run record of 22 in the postseason.

All of the solid numbers he put up are great, but the quality of person Bernie was just as good.  Bernie served as a US cultural ambassador, and is an accomplished guitarist.  He is one of just seven players to play for the New York Yankees at least 16 years.  Bernie should be a sure-fire Hall of Famer.