Bernie Williams was not a great player. But he was awfully good – especially in the clutch. And so it was fitting that the Yankees would honor him with a plaque in Monument Park where it’s getting very crowded these days. They also retired his number 51 which increases the odds that soon a Yankees second baseman will wear #103 as the Yankees continue to try to salvage the dismal present by remembering a glorious past (yet to come this year – days for Jorge Posada and Andy Pettitte).
Still, it was good to be at the event last night and the outpouring of love and appreciation by the fans was genuine and truly deserved.
The lasting image in my mind of Bernie Williams happened many years ago on a warm August afternoon in the Bronx. I was watching a few of the Yankees go through the paces of pregame warm-up. And there was Bernie loping along by himself in the outfield………almost like a gazelle…….a study of grace and swiftness. Both of which he carried forward in his personal and family life.
And so it was fitting that the Core Four (below right) and other friends and teammates of Bernie’s would show up at the Stadium last night. Bernie Williams – the man and ballplayer – deserved all of the recognition he was given.