Yankees Legend Bernie Williams to Perform at July 21 Induction Ceremony
(COOPERSTOWN, NY) – Four-time World Series champion Bernie Williams, a New York Yankees teammate of Class of 2019 members Mike Mussina and Mariano Rivera, will perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” at the July 21 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Cooperstown.
Williams, an accomplished jazz guitarist who was nominated for a Latin Grammy Award for his 2009 album Moving Forward, discovered his passions for baseball and music at an early age in his native Puerto Rico.
“I am truly humbled to take part in this year’s Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony alongside perhaps the greatest collection of living players ever assembled,” Williams said. “Performing for the Class of 2019 is extra special because every player being inducted is either one I played with or against: Yankees teammates Mariano Rivera and Mike Mussina, old friend and fellow Puerto Rican Edgar Martinez, and a trio of the most talented and toughest opponents I ever took the field against, Harold Baines, Lee Smith and the great Roy Halladay.
“It is an honor to open the ceremony with our National Anthem, and to perform ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game,’ which serves as a daily reminder to every ballplayer who ever graced the diamond of how privileged we were to play the greatest game in the world.”
In 16 big league seasons – all with the Yankees – Williams was named to five All-Star Games and won four Gold Glove Awards for his play in center field. A .297 career hitter who totaled 2,336 hits and 287 home runs, Williams and the Yankees qualified for the postseason in 12 straight seasons from 1995-2006, bringing World Series titles to New York in 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000.
Williams and Rivera were teammates on the Yankees in each of the final 12 seasons of Williams’ career, and Williams and Mussina each wore Yankee pinstripes from 2001-06.
But Williams’ talent did not retire when he left Major League Baseball following the 2006 season. Instead, Williams’ creative outlet became music. Williams also authored “Rhythms of the Game: The Link Between Musical and Athletic Performance” in 2011. Williams’ parallel journey in both baseball and music is explored in the book, serving as an inspiring reminder that the human spirit loves to witness powers of greatness in any field.
The 2019 Induction Ceremony will begin at 1:30 p.m., with Williams’ rendition of the national anthem performed after the introduction of the returning Hall of Famers. Harold Baines, Roy Halladay, Edgar Martinez, Mike Mussina, Mariano Rivera and Lee Smith will be inducted as the Class of 2019 at the Baseball Hall of Fame.
The Induction Ceremony takes place on the grounds of the Clark Sports Center, one mile south of the Hall of Fame on Susquehanna Avenue. Admission to the Induction Ceremony is free.
The 2019 Induction Ceremony will be televised live on MLB Network.
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