Former Major League Baseball outfielder Gerald Williams of New Orleans, Louisiana died at the age of 55 of cancer on Tuesday according to Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News. Williams spent 14 seasons in Major League Baseball with the New York Yankees, Milwaukee Brewers, Atlanta Braves, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Florida Marlins and New York Mets from 1992 to 2005.
Gerald Williams Dies at 55
In 1168 games, 3323 plate appearances, and 3059 at bats, Williams batted .255 with 85 home runs and 365 runs batted in. He scored 474 runs, and had 780 hits, 183 doubles, 18 triples, 106 stolen bases, 180 walks, 1254 total bases, 31 sacrifice hits, and 22 sacrifice flies. He also had an on base percentage of .301, and a slugging percentage of .410. Williams’s best season came in 2000 with the Rays, as he set career highs in home runs (21), runs batted in (89), runs scored (87), hits (173), walks (34), total bases (270), and sacrifice hits (nine).
The fact that Williams had his best season in Major League Baseball with the Rays could be a surprise to some because of the fact he was an integral part of the Yankees squad in the 1990s. Despite playing with the Yankees in the 1990s and 2000s, he was not on any of the Yankees’ teams that won the World Series in 1996, 1998, 1999, and 2000. Williams did play for the Yankees in 1996, but was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers during the 1996 regular season with pitcher Bob Wickman for pitcher Graeme Lloyd, shortstop Pat Listach, and pitcher Ricardo Bones. The Yankees did present Williams with a World Series ring, but it was simply not the same for Williams, who was not on the team when the Yankees actually won. Williams also played for the Yankees for the three seasons from 2001 to 2003, after they won the 2000 World Series.
Williams was very valuable to teams defensively, He could play all outfield defensive positions well, and was known for his outstanding arm according to Don Burke of the New York Post.
Williams became close friends with Yankees superstar shortstop Derek Jeter, despite their eight-year age difference. Jeter is 47 years old.