The late Gerald Williams was known for being an unrepentant and relentless protector of Derek Jeter, as well as a larger-than-life figure in his own right.
Former MLB player Gerald Williams, who protected Derek Jeter from a baseball bully and kept him on the field during an at-bat against Roger Clemens in 1997, died of cancer Saturday. The news came as a shock to many Yankees fans who were mourning his death.
Gerald Williams, Who Protected Derek Jeter From a Baseball Bully, Mourned After His Death at 55. Gerald was a former basketball player and the first African-American head coach in the NBA. He died on November 3rd after losing his battle with cancer.
Former outfielder Gerald Williams was much more than a New York Yankees teammate to Hall of Famer Derek Jeter. Williams spent half of his 14-year MLB career with the Yankees, where he formed deep bonds with Jeter and the rest of his teammates.
Williams, who died Tuesday after a battle with illness, was recalled affectionately by Jeter and Bernie Williams. He was 55 years old at the time.
Gerald Williams played for the New York Yankees twice.
On June 28, 1995, during batting practice for a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers at Yankee Stadium in New York City, Gerald Williams of the New York Yankees looks on. | Getty Images/Mitchell Layton .
Williams was a 14th-round choice of the Yankees in the 1987 MLB Draft after attending Grambling State University. Before making his big-league debut in September 1992, he spent five years in the minors. With three home runs in 27 at-bats, he participated in 15 games and made quite an impact.
When the Yankees traded Williams to the Milwaukee Brewers in 1997, he got his first shot at being an everyday player. In August 1996, the Yankees acquired him and went on to win the World Series. A World Series ring was presented to Williams.
Williams was dealt to the Atlanta Braves after the 1997 season, where he played two seasons. Williams also played for the Devil Rays of Tampa Bay, the Marlins of Florida, and the Mets of New York.
Williams returned to the Yankees after being released by the Rays in 2001, before joining the Marlins in 2003.
Williams has 780 hits and 85 home runs throughout the course of his career. He had a.255 batting average.
In the minors, Gerald Williams shielded Derek Jeter from a bully.
According to Michael Kay, Derek Jeter and Gerald Williams are best friends because Williams stood up for Jeter when he was bullied by another player.
Then Paul O’Neill is reminded that only he is allowed to bully Michael Kay about his big head pic.twitter.com/DR2BFzrhVm
— Talkin’ Yanks (@TalkinYanks) August 1, 2021
Long before they played in the Bronx, Williams and Jeter were teammates. Their friendship began in the lower leagues and evolved from there. Williams, in fact, was the one who took Jeter, the promising young player, under his wing.
Last August, Yankees announcer Michael Kay recalled a moment when Jeter was tormented in the minor levels and Williams intervened.
During a Yankees vs. Miami Marlins game in August, Kay remarked, “The friendship was formed fairly early in the low level of the minor levels because there was a guy there who was picking on Jeter and really upsetting him.” “‘OK, enough,’ Gerald Williams finally replied. You’re going to have to go through me if you do it again.’ Since then, they’ve been the best of friends.”
In his book “The Life You Imagine,” published in 2000, Jeter mentioned their close friendship. During Jeter’s first year in the major leagues, he stated Williams was the first to invite him out to dinner.
Jeter wrote, “I felt like the last kid on the playground waiting to be picked for a game, and finally someone had picked me.”
Bernie Williams and Derek Jeter both commented about their buddy and teammate’s death.
“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.” —Derek Jeter pic.twitter.com/mVoaZ8BPrP
— The Players’ Tribune (@PlayersTribune) February 8, 2022
On Tuesday, Jeter issued a statement regarding the death of his friend through The Players’ Tribune.
“After a long fight with cancer, Gerald Williams died away this morning,” Jeter wrote. “Rest in peace, my brother, to my teammate and one of my closest friends in the world.” My heartfelt condolences and prayers go out to his wife, Liliana, and their whole family.”
Gerald shared the outfield with another Yankee legend, Bernie Williams. They became close as well, and Bernie voiced his sorrow after learning of his buddy and former teammate’s death.
According to The New York Daily News, Bernie Williams said, “I am deeply saddened by the passing of my good friend Gerald Williams.” “I recall when we were housemates in the minors… We had each other’s backs through thick and thin.
“We used to fantasize and discuss what it would be like to play in the major leagues.” We used to joke about him getting called up first by the Yankees since he had more power, was quicker, and had an enormously stronger throwing arm than me.
“We were able to play in the top leagues side by side for a short time, therefore our goal came true.” Throughout his whole life, he was a person of high character and integrity. Despite the fact that our paths diverged, I always regarded him as a great friend and mentor. I’ll miss him terribly.”
RELATED: Derek Jeter’s Ascension to Mr. November
Gerald Williams, Who Protected Derek Jeter From a Baseball Bully, Mourned After His Death at 55. Gerald Williams was a security guard who protected Derek Jeter from a baseball bully when he was in the 3rd grade. Williams died on February 18th of this year after battling cancer for over 10 years. Reference: derek jeter world series rings.
Frequently Asked Questions
How did Gerald Williams die?
A: Gerald Williams died of a heart attack at the age of 53 in his sleep.
Why is Derek Jeter a good leader?
What records did Derek Jeter break?
A: Derek Jeter broke the following records in his career.
Jeter became only the second player to hit 200 home runs for a single team, with 205 on 14 occasions and 236 overall. He was also one of 13 players in Major League history with 2,000 hits during their career.
He is among just three active players who have recorded more than 100 stolen bases; he has 124 steals over 1,244 games played at shortstop (1B).
His 11 All-Star selections are tied for most all time by an infielder behind that other Yankee legend, Babe Ruth (14), and Honus Wagners 12 appearances at catcher as noted above is third highest all time behind Yogi Berras 16
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