New York Yankees Retire Bernie Williams’ Number
If you grew up a Yankees fan in the late 90s and early 2000s, there was not another team in sports that was as dominant as the Bronx bombers. They went to six World Series in eight years, winning four of them in historic fashion.
And it is about time that some of the players, who graced those dynasty years, are honored by the Yankees: especially with the end of the era retirement of Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera.
So on Saturday, the storied organization retired Bernie Williams‘ 51 and gave him a plaque in the prestigious Monument Park. In his 16 years in the pinstripes, he batted .297 with 287 home runs and 2,336 hits. He also went to five All-Star games and won four Gold Gloves.
But he will certainly be remembered for his performances in the playoffs — .275 batting average with 22 home runs, 83 runs and 80 RBIs — and his numbers during the Yankees peak dynasty years — between 1995 and 2002, he batted an astounding .321.
“I’ve been thinking about this day for a while,” Williams told the crowd. “Coming to the field, to me it reminded me of going to a playoff game. I started feeling the butterflies in my stomach, almost the way I felt coming to play in a really important game. It brought me back. It was good to have that kind of set of emotions running in my head as I was coming to the stadium. It felt great. This is a great day, one of the greatest days obviously in my career and top days in my life.”
Williams is the 18th number to be retired and the first of three this season. Both Andy Pettitte and Jorge Posada’s numbers will be inducted into Monument Park in late August.