Ever hear of Bernabe Williams Figueroa, Jr? Hmmm. I haven’t.
Translated, the English name is Bernie Williams. The kid from Puerto Rico, who at age 17 signed with the New York Yankees, would become one of the most polarizing players in baseball.
The “kid” spent six years in the minor leagues honing his craft and playing his guitar in the little bit of time he was away from baseball.
The “kid” who developed into one of the best center fielders in modern times. The “kid” who hit the game one 1999 ALCS walk-off home run, and countless others.
Bernie Williams posted a career batting average of 297, with an OBP of 381. He averaged 98 RBI’s per 162 games over his years with the Yankees.
Numbers are just that. Who remembers all of the electric moments Bernie, “BERN BABY BERN” provided us? When Bernie was up in a crucial situation, more than likely, he came through and I was yelling.
The guy who only twice called the “Boss.” Once about a cancelation of a family day for players that his children were upset about missing. It was rescheduled for the following day.
The second one was about a certain man who had proven himself as a Yankee player and was a free agent. He made his intentions known and the “Boss” made his as well. He was given a contract. History was made.
Bernabe Williams Figueroa became the first man in MLB history to win a Gold Glove, batting title, and World Series ring, all awarded in 1998. He won 4 rings with the Yankees.
He also had his number 51 retired in May of 2015. Humble as usual, of course, Bernie thanked everyone besides himself for the honor of being inducted to Yankee history.
If it wasn’t enough to watch this man play baseball, we can now listen to him play jazz on his guitar, and he had an album reach #2 on the US jazz charts!
BERN BABY BERN…