Call it a career: Bernie Williams to formally retire
Even though he played his final Major League game in 2006, having jumped into a successful music career and twice appeared on Hall of Fame ballots, Bernie Williams always enjoyed ribbing his former teammates with the running joke that he had still not officially retired from baseball.
Now, as the Yankees embrace their post-‘Core Four’ era — a group that should properly include Williams, if only someone had coined a catchy nickname that rhymed with ‘five’ — Williams is ready to formally sign his retirement papers. The ceremony will take place on Friday evening at Yankee Stadium.
Williams will be joined by Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and assistant general manager Jean Afterman at the event. The Yankees will unveil a logo related to the retirement of Williams’ No. 51 and his Monument Park plaque dedication, which will take place on May 24 prior to the Yankees’ game against the Rangers.
Additionally on Friday ─ in an on-field ceremony at approximately 6:45 p.m. ─ the Hard Rock Cafe will debut a souvenir pin that honors Williams. Fifteen percent of net sales from the pins will go to Hillside Food Outreach (www.hillsidefoodoutreach.org).
A four-time World Series winner, five-time American League All-Star and four-time Gold Glove Award winner who is the Yankees’ all-time postseason leader in home runs (22) and RBI (80), Williams will also throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to Friday’s 7:05 p.m. game vs. the Mets.
Williams played his entire 16-year Major League career with the Yankees (1991-2006), batting .297 in 2,076 games. In franchise history, the former centerfielder 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 RBI (1,257).
In franchise history, the former centerfielder 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 RBI (1,257).