Bern, baby, Bern!
According to his Instagram page, Yankees legend Bernie Williams will be a guest instructor at spring training.
Early Friday morning, Williams posted a photo of his No. 51 jersey with his four World Series rings and the number retirement ring he received back in 2015 with the caption: “Excited to be in Tampa at Yankees camp working as a guest instructor.”
Bernie, who “retired” following the 2006 season (he didn’t officially hang it up until 2015 when his number was retired), has stated in the past that he’d like to be involved in baseball as an advisor or coach. However, the now 48-year-old has found himself a second career as a successful guitarist and musician, and even graduated from the Manhattan School of Music last year.
With so many young, talented outfielders in the Yankees’ system, having Bernie around to teach them a few things can only help. Imagine what guys like Aaron Judge, Clint Frazier and Dustin Fowler can pick up, even if it’s something small? Or Jorge Mateo, a guy who has seen reps in the outfield as the Yankees look to make him more versatile.
The Yankees sell their past better than anyone. We saw the impact Derek Jeter had on the prospects when he took them out for dinner last month. While Bernie isn’t considered a “Core Four” guy (don’t get me started on that), his presence and knowledge is just as valuable.
Bernie spent his entire 16-year career in the Bronx, hitting .297/.381/.477 with 2,336 hits, 287 homers and 1,257 RBI over 2,076 games. He was selected to five All-Star games and captured four Gold Gloves and a Silver Slugger Award. Ranking near the top in most all-time postseason offensive categories, Bernie is the all-time record holder with 80 RBI in October.
Williams joins Goose Gossage, Ron Guidry, Reggie Jackson, Hideki Matsui, Lee Mazzilli, Stump Merrill, Willie Randolph, Alex Rodriguez, and Nick Swisher as former Yankees to make appearances as guest instructors this spring.