Bern Baby Bern, A Tribute To Bernie Williams.
As the Yankees prepare to make another World Series run this October, I decided to look back at one of the players that helped them to their last four.
Bernie Williams was always a feared bat in the postseason, his 22 homers ranks second all time and his 80 RBI rank first all time. The man was one of the greatest hitters in postseason history.
He, Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Paul O'Neill, Tino Martinez and Mariano Rivera formed the core nucleus of the Yankees most recent dynasty. Those six won four championships between 1996 and 2000.
Bernie was one of the best hitters throughout the '90s and early 2000's. He had eight straight seasons of 10-plus homers, a .300 average or better and 80-plus RBI during that time span. He also won four Gold Gloves in his career.
His numbers began to plummet after winning the Silver Slugger award for arguably his best season in 2002. After four years of decline, he fell victim to the "What Have You Done For Me Lately" policy, and was not invited to Spring Training in 2007 by New York.
After two years of inactivity he played for the Dominican Republic in the WBC this year to possibly return to the Majors, but nobody seemed to want his services.
Although he has not yet announced his retirement, it is almost certain that he is. Since dropping his bat, the five-time All Star has picked up his guitar and is pursuing his musical career now.
His 16-year career, all of them being in pinstripes, should wind up in the baseball's Hall of Fame someday. He was one of the few shining stars during one of baseball's darkest and most tainted eras of all time. Hall of Fame or not, No. 51 will always be immortalized in New York and be remembered as a true Yankee.
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