The Yankees Twenty-Five Most Memorable Home Runs
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#24 A Fan Favorite Delivers The AL East Title To New York
You’d have to look wide and far to find a Yankees player who was more popular among fans than Bernie Williams.
Quiet and reserved, he didn’t fit the mold of an All-Star playing under the bright lights of New York City. But that quietness often disappeared when he had a bat in his hands.
I have played professional baseball for over half my life. From the time I picked up a baseball glove, I did not want to put it down. (Bernie Williams)
Built like a gazelle, he could often be seen loping across the vast expanse of the Stadium’s outfield, during pre-game warmup, seemingly with little or no effort.
His home run that night clinched the seventh straight American League East Title for the Yankees against the Minnesota Twins, who were also playoff bound.
Following the game, Williams told USA Today:
"“I’ve been through it so many times. I was picturing it in the on-deck circle, taking it all in, thinking it would be nice for me to end it,”"
Manager Joe Torre added, “This time of year seems to bring out the best in him,” and Derek Jeter summed up his feelings too telling the press, “It was fitting. Bernie’s been here the longest,” Jeter said in the champagne-filled Yankees clubhouse. “He’s been through a lot this year.”
It was fitting. But not all ended well for the Yankees that season as the Boston Red Sox would wage a comeback from a 3-1 disadvantage to capture the AL East Pennant and go on to win their first World Championship since 1918.
But for that one moment, it was number 51 who sent the Yankees and their fans into the playoffs for the seventh straight season.