Gerald Williams, Former New York Yankees Star, Dead at 55
Gerald Williams, a former MLB player who spent the majority of his time with the New York Yankees, died on Tuesday morning, as mentioned by CBS Sports. He was 55 years old. Former Yankees teammate Derek Jeter announced that Williams was battling cancer at the time of his death.
"Gerald Williams passed away this morning after a battle with cancer," Jeter said, per The Players Tribune. "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."
The Yankees mourn the passing of Gerald Williams. pic.twitter.com/3Vsb7eL0PA— New York Yankees (@Yankees) February 8, 2022
Williams made his Major League debut with the Yankees in 1992 following spending time at Grambling State University. He spent nearly five seasons with the Yankees before being traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in August 1996. After the 1997 season, Williams was traded to the Braves and played against the Yankees in the 1999 World Series. Jeter and Williams have been friends since Jeter experienced his first Spring Training in 1993. In his book The Life You Imagine, Jeter talked about how Williams was one of the first Yankees to take him out the dinner.
"I felt like I had been the last kid on the playground waiting to be picked for a game, and finally someone had selected me," Jeter wrote, per MLB.com. "From that first meal, I knew that Gerald was someone whom I would befriend. He speaks softly and thoughtfully and is more like a philosopher than a baseball player.
"You could sit down next to Gerald on a plane, take a three-hour flight, talk the whole time, and never, ever guess that he played baseball. Gerald would talk to you about politics, religion, health care, the judicial system, anything. He is a person who thrives on life. He always finds positives and has told me that he doesn't think he could ever overuse the word positive."
After his time with the Braves, Williams went on to play for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Florida Marlins, New York Mets and the Yankees again from 2001-2002. In his career, Williams, who played in the outfield, hit .255 with 85 home runs and 365 RBIs. In 2014, Williams was among the group of friends and teammates who attended Jeter's retirement at Yankee Stadium.
"What I noticed that actually jumped out, it was easy to see … he never wanted to take a play off," Williams said at the time. "Whatever it was, he wanted to make sure he gave it his best every time and always felt like he could do more. He wasn't really satisfied with a lot of things. I think that's pretty good for people to witness."