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Sunday, March 21, 2021

Gerald Williams got plenty of playing time over 14 seasons in the bigs

Yankees prospect Gerald Williams got off to a strong beginning in his major league debut in September 1992. In his first at bat, on the first pitch he saw, he hit a home run, The Yonkers Herald Statesman wrote.

Yankees manager Buck Showalter called it a "good initial start," according to The Herald Statesman.

"We'd like to see Gerald get some playing time," Showalter told The Herald Statesman.

Williams eventually got plenty of playing time in the majors. He saw the bigs over 14 seasons and more than 1,100 major league games.

Williams' career began in 1987, taken by the Yankees in the 14th round of the draft out of Grambling State.

Williams started with the Yankees at short-season Oneonta. He made single-A Fort Lauderdale in 1988, then AA Albany-Colonie in 1990. He then made AAA Columbus in 1991 and the Bronx in 1992.

Williams got into 15 games for the Yankees in 1992, where he hit .296. He returned for another 42 games in 1993 and 57 in 1994.

At spring 1994's close, Williams spoke to The New York Times about his attitude, as he worked to maintain his majors spot with the Yankees.

"I don't dwell on the negative," Williams told The Times. "And I take everything easy, good or bad. It helps to understand your job in being able to handle all situations."

Williams hit .291 for the Yankees that year and .247 there over 100 games in 1995. He moved to the Brewers in late 1996, then to the Braves in 1998.

In 1999, he hit .275 as a Braves regular and helped the club to the World Series - against his old Yankees.

"Playing in the World Series is always special," Williams told The New York Post before the start of the series, "no matter who you're playing against."

Williams went 2 for 18 in the World Series, with a triple. 

He moved to Tampa Bay for 2000, where he hit .274. He then returned to the Yankees mid-2001. He played his final four seasons between the Yankees, Marlins and the Mets. He last played in 2005, for the Mets, where he saw 39 games.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,603
Made the Majors:1,247-34.6%-X
Never Made Majors:2,356-65.4%
5+ Seasons in the Majors:520-X
10+ Seasons in the Minors:306

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