Flashback Athlete of the Month for May 2024

Bernabé Williams Figueroa Jr. aka Bernie Williams is a musician and former New York Yankees baseball player. Born in the Bronx in 1968 he and is family moved to Puerto Rico where he grew up. Williams showcase talent at baseball and music at a young age. He was eventually scouted for the New York Yankees in 1985 but was put in a training camp in Connecticut before signing on to the team at age 17.

Williams played Minor League Baseball while studying at the University of Puerto Rico, before deciding to focus solely on his baseball career. Williams became an official center fielder for the Yankees by 1993. Williams showed his prowess on the field during his early years with the team, being named the ALCS MVP in 1996. By 1998, became the first player to win a batting title, Gold Glove award, and World Series ring in the same year.

After 1998, Williams signed a seven-year contract with the Yankees. In those seven years Williams continued to break records, winning two more Gold Glove awards and a Silver Slugger Award in 2022. By 2006, Williams became the 11th active player in the Majors to score more than 2,300 career hits and reached his 443rd career double.

After his contract expired in 2006, Williams went inactive for two years before returning to the Yankees in 2008. In 2009 Williams played for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic. It wasn’t until 2015 that he officially announced his retirement.

Outside of baseball Williams focused on bettering musical education in disenfranchised U.S. schools with the national non-profit organization Little Kids Rock. He also continued his education and received his Bachelor of Music from the Manhattan School of Music in 2016.

Past Picks of the Month

Bernie Williams

Omar Minaya

Darryl Strawberry

Dwight “Doc” Gooden

Reggie Jackson

Grant Hill

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