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Bernie Williams: A season in tribute

I'm really glad the Yanks showed incredible class and resigned Bernie so he could finish out his great career as a Yankee in front of the fans that love him so much. He's played fifteen seasons for the Bombers and has been a class act all the way. I remember seeing him early on in his career. He looked like a fragile rookie; so skinny I didn't know how his uniform held up and wondered if he might get blown over by a strong gust of Yankee stadium wind. He fooled me for sure. I remember when the Red Sox were courting him and he almost left us for of all people Albert Bell, but the Yanks got that one right and paid the price he was worth to keep him in pinstripes.

Williams has a lifetime .298 ba, 1196 rbi's, 2218 hits, 1301 runs, and pounded 275 hr's. He was an all star from 1997-2001 and won four straight gold gloves. In 1998 he led the league in hitting with a .339 average, but it was his post season play that earned him the kudos that he deserved-helping the Yanks to four series rings. In 120 post season ab's, (Just think about that for a moment)he had 22 hr's and 80 rbi's. Now that's against the leagues best teams of course and  many very good pitchers. He didn't excel in the World Series where he only batted .208, but in the Division Series and League Championship games he tore it up.

This year the Yanks look to tear up the league if the pitching stays healthy and we might see Bernie taking more curtain calls than anyone before him. When Paul O'Neil retired, we weren't sure until the end of the season that he would and in his final game against Arizona in the 2001 World Series-game five, the fans went wild, the stadium thundered-forcing heartfelt tears from Paul's eyes. He talks about that moment often when he's in the booth. We all know that this is Bernie's "last Hurrah" so the Stadium will be rocking throughout the season showing him the love that he deserves for being a quiet warrior, a man who didn't have all the talent in the world, but worked hard and made the most of it. I know most of us are hoping that he has a little spark left in his tank so he can contribute to the 2006 season, but if he doesn't -nobody will care. I salute you Bernie Williams!