Following shortly after shortstop Derek Jeter’s retirement, former New York Yankees Outfielder Bernie Williams made his retirement official. Williams has played baseball for 16 years for the team. As noted by Bleacher Report, the Yankees’ official Twitter announced Williams’ retirement in a tweet earlier today.
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) April 22, 2015
Bleacher Report added that Williams, who won five World Series with the Yankees and was chosen for the All-Star game five times during his career, will sign official retirement papers this Friday. Deadspin.com added that Williams won a batting title and four Gold Gloves (awards given to outfielders) during his time in baseball, mentioning that Williams was also the team’s cleanup hitter (the fourth hitter in the batting lineup).
The site went on to mention that outside of baseball, Williams is known for his love of Jazz music and the saxophone. Inside the ballpark, The 46-year-old Puerto Rico-born player was known for decent contact as well as power hitting. Bleacher Report reported that Williams’ entire baseball career was spent with the New York Yankees, a feat that’s fairly rare in most clubhouses. The Yankees will also be retiring Williams’ number 42. Once retired, Williams’ number will join the likes of legendary players such as slugger Babe Ruth (number 3) and catcher Yogi Berra (number 8).
It’s also likely Williams could get nominated for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame, but given that Williams’ contemporary, Derek Jeter, won’t be eligible for that same honor until 2020 or later, it might be a while for Bernie too. Being that many of the Yankee greats from days of old are slowly retiring or being traded to other clubs, Williams truly is the “…teams’ last remaining link to those glory years,” as Deadspin.com so eloquently put it. Though his retirement isn’t official until Friday, it’s likely fans are already feeling the loss.
Though Williams’ retirement isn’t official until Friday, it’s likely fans are already feeling the loss. Then again, the Yankees have recruited a team of almost completely fresh faces that may or may not benefit in the future. So far, the team is evenly split with 7 wins and 7 losses, giving them a.500 win percentage and putting them third in the AL East division behind their mortal enemies, the Boston Red Sox. Will the loss of Yankee greats like Jeter and Bernie Williams hinder the Yankees’ chance at getting into and remaining in post-season play, or will their ability to consistently recruit new talent along with a history of having the biggest payroll in baseball be enough to sustain them during the 2015 season?
[Image Credit: Mike Stobe/Getty Images]