Bernie Williams to finally retire and other NYY observations

I’m an Oakland Athletics fans, that’s fairly obvious whether this is the first time you have visited my blog or you’re a regular reader (thanks to the few of you that I actually have! I appreciate you guys!).

Yes, I’ve been an A’s fan since my first game at the Coliseum 30 years, yes I’m not extraordinarily fond of the Yankees on the whole and sure there are other teams and players I am fond of – some still playing and some long retired. Those things are all very easy to guess about someone who loves the game as much as I do.

Bernie Williams. Getty Images.
Bernie Williams. Getty Images.

Here’s the thing you may not know about me though. I was a fan of those late 90’s and GASP! even early 2000’s New York Yankees teams – except the damn flip ok? I hate that damn flip play but I certainly do not hate Derek Jeter for being brilliant enough make it happen, which when he did at the time it broke my heart (kinda like Kirk Gibson‘s home run, it’s that replay that just breaks your heart again and again).

But it was hard for me not to love some of the players from those teams. The 1998 Yankees have been considered on the level of the 1927 Yankees and the 1929 Philadelphia Athletics (yes, often overlooked but considered on of the best teams of all time). The majority of the members of those late ’90’s and early 2000’s Yankees teams will always be icons.

My two absolute favorites from back in those days: Bernie Williams and Jorge Posada. I adored them. I cheered for them. I rooted for the Yankees in the playoffs even (to my credit it was when the Boston Red Sox had eliminated the A’s in the 2003 ALDS and Aaron Boone hit that walk off to keep the Red Sox out of the World Series for one more year) though they did out do my A’s.

These Yankees teams today are easily forgettable. The players – one, obviously are not as good, they’re not dynamic and there’s no real personality to them. Not even Masahiro Tanaka their supposed superstar, who I doubt will be around much longer, is remotely interesting.

Bernie Williams. Getty Images.
Bernie Williams. Getty Images.

Many bloggers have been examining not only Alex Rodriguez‘s play, but why Yankee Stadium and the Yankees fans are so ready to forgive and forget all his transgressions and lies. There were signs at his first game back made by the fans for the fans saying that A-Rod should be forgiven. I don’t really mind either way. I like the fact that he’s proving everybody wrong and starting off the season like a stud.

(It reminds me of Britney Spears – who I adore – but she’s pulled so many stunts that would make any other celebrity so unlikable that they’d disappear into anonymity, yet she always makes a comeback and let me tell you, they’re always awesome)

So yes, A-Rod’s comeback gives the Yankees’ fans a little joy. i enjoy seeing him, knowing he’s clean, seeing what he is still capable of and the true athlete that he really is without any PEDs. He, like Barry Bonds, would have been a Hall of Famer without the assistance of substances. They have true athleticism and an eye to see the ball!

The truth is though, at least in my opinion, that everyone is forgiving A-Rod because he is the last remaining memory of those dynamic Yankees’ teams who were so good. I know he wasn’t a member of the World Champion Yankees teams in 1996 and 1998-2000, but he was still part “those” baseball memories. Memories of the Derek Jeters, the Mariano Riveras, the Andy Pettittes – and to me that most definitely includes memories of the the Bernie Williams and the Jorge Posadas of the baseball world.

Bernie Williams. Getty Images.
Bernie Williams. Getty Images.

So even though Bernie Williams hasn’t played since 2006, when I saw him trending on Twitter today I could not help but say something … and where better to say something than a blog (that’s the purpose of one right?) – I like reporting news and events on my blog but also personal stories and things that have touched my life or are lasting memories.

I really feel like rambling today. I would totally go on about the 1990’s Cowboys and Troy Aikman if I thought it would interest you but it probably wouldn’t – like I’m sure you were not here to listen to me talk about Britney Spears, for heaven’s sake! So, if you are in fact still reading this – sorry about that and thank you!

The reason I started this was simply to say that I love Bernie Williams. He was a great player and he represented the best team at the time in the best way possible. He is a great guy and I love that he plays the guitar – I know a lot of players do but it added to his personality.

Anyway, it was announced Wednesday that Bernie Williams will finally sign his retirement papers prior to the first game of this year’s Subway Series against the New York Mets on Friday. He is also scheduled to throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to Friday’s game.

He will be retired from the game of baseball nearly nine years after his final game (and thankfully before his No. 51 jersey is retired by the Yankees on May 24, 2015).He played his final game in a New York Yankees uniform on Oct. 1, 2006.

He played his first game in a New York Yankees uniform too, on July 7, 1991 at the age of 22 and played all 16 seasons of his career with the Yankees. A five-time All-Star, Williams was a career .297/.381/.477 hitter. He won four Gold Gloves for his dominance in center field and won the American League batting title in 1998 when he batted .339.

The "Core Four:" Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter & Andy Pettitte. Getty Images.
The “Core Four:” Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter & Andy Pettitte. Getty Images.

In Yankees franchise history Williams ranks third in doubles (449), fifth in hits (2,336), sixth in games played and runs scored (1,366) and seventh in home runs (287) and RBIs (1,257).

He was a key to their postseason successes. He is the Yankees’ all-time postseason leader in home runs (22) and RBIs (80) and was name MVP of the 1996 ALCS, hitting a key walk-off home run in the 10th inning of Game 1 to give the Yankees the victory over the Baltimore Orioles. Bernie may not have been considered one of the “Core Four” but four players does not make a team and Williams will always have a place in Yankees’ history and in my memory.

Congrats on your retirement Bernie!!!

  • I love this article. I think it’s hysterical that Britney Spears gets mentioned somehow on this topic:) And I get it. Bernie, like Derek, was very quiet and did everything the right way. He represented himself with integrity. Great player who always came through. He’ll always be a Yankee legend

    • Jen Rainwater

      Haha! Glad you liked it! I was on a rambling tear. I started out to be all Bernie Williams – seriously – I was always obsessed with him and Jorge (and Derek in a way but he always got all the love – but when he retired man, every time I saw that commercial I cried – the gatorade one – it was beautifully done) – anyways, then I ended up all over the place (Britney Spears, A-Rod) but decided to post it anyway. What the hell right?! Just see what happens! LOL! I appreciate you always reading and commenting! Hope all is well Raul!! 😀

      • No problem sweetie:) You always rock!

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