The New York Yankees are mourning as one of their former players passed away on Tuesday. Former Yankee Gerald Williams passed away at 55, due to cancer. Here are some of the statements made by former teammates, along with some of his career stats.
Former teammate Derek Jeter released a statement via The Players’ Tribune in regards to the death of Williams. His statement read, “Gerald Williams passed away this morning after a battle with cancer. To my teammate and one of my best friends in the world, rest in peace, my brother. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Liliana, and their whole family.”
Bernie Williams, another former teammate, also released a statement saying, “I am deeply saddened about the passing of my good friend Gerald Williams. I remember our time in the minor when we were roommates…through thick and thin, we had each other’s backs. We used to talk and dream about how it would be like to play in the big leagues. He had more power, he was faster, and definitely had an exponentially better throwing arm than me, so we used to joke around about him being called up by the Yankees first. We played side-by-side in the big leagues for a little while, so our dream did come true. He was a stand up individual with great character and integrity throughout his whole life. Even though our lives went in separate ways, I always considered him a true friend and mentor. I will miss him a lot.”
The Yankees organization released a statement saying, “The Yankees are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Gerald Williams, who grew up in our minor league system and spent parts of seven seasons with us on the Major League level. Gerald had an infectious smile and was a beloved member of the clubhouse during his time in pinstripes. The Yankees extend their heartfelt condolences to Gerald’s family and friends. He will be missed.”
Williams was drafted by the Yankees in the 14th round in 1987. He made his MLB debut on September 15, 1992, where he played 15 games. He batted .296 with six RBIs, three strikeouts, two stolen bases and an OPS of 1.000.
For his career, Williams hit .255 with 183 doubles, 85 HR, 365 RBIs, 180 walks, 530 strikeouts and a .711 OPS.
Williams’ best offensive year was in 1998 playing for the Atlanta Braves. He had a .305 batting average with 10 HR, 44 RBIs, 17 walks, 48 strikeouts, 11 stolen bases and an OPS of .856.
While Williams was on the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, now known as the Rays, Williams was involved in a bench-clearing brawl. It started when the Boston Red Sox pitcher, Pedro Martinez, threw a pitch that hit Williams on his left wrist. As Williams started walking up the first baseline, he stared at Martinez while checking his wrist and ran after him swinging. Both benches cleared and Williams was ejected, being escorted to the dugout.
It is clear that Williams was like and loved by those who knew him. The statements made by former teammates and the Yankees organization show that.
Featured Image Courtesy of Harrison Golden from Grambling State University
“From Our Haus to Yours“