Bernie Williams

Bernie Williams has been my favorite player since age 5. His class, talent, and ability to be a leader on and off the field made me really really respect the guy. I personally think that he got shafted by the Yankees two years ago, when they neglected to offer him a contract to return. He had given them many years of service and played fantastically throughout all of them. I think that Bernie should absolutely get into the HOF and I think that the Yankees should retire his number in the new Yankee Statium. 
For his career, Bernie was a .297/.381/.477. In his best seasons (1997-2002), he was one of the best center fielders in the games of baseball. In those seasons he hit .328, .339 (Batting Title), .342, .307, .307, .333 respectively. As a CF, he was one of the best. He won 4 Gold Gloves, and was selected to the Allstar team 5 times. Despite the fact that he had excellent stats throughout his regular season career, his post-season stats were even better. According to Wikipedia, he holds the career postseason records for games, double, RBI, and extra base hits. On the Yankees all-time lists, he is 2nd in doubles, 4th in walks, 5th in hits, 5th in extra base hits, 6th in HR, and 6th in RBI. Being this high up on the Yankees all-time list is very impressive considering he is being compared to people like Babe Ruth, Lou Gherig, Joe DiMaggio, and Mickey Mantle. He won 4 World Series, being one of the key members of each run. He was always a fan favorite and a clubhouse favorite. It was very clear that the Yankee fans loved him when he was introduced at the final game. He received the longest and loudest ovation of any of the great players introduced. On his "last" game as a Yankee, a game that I was at, the entire stadium chanted his name throughout the entire 9th inning, a memory that I will never forget.
The combination of Bernie's career stats, postseason prowess, and the amount of respect and love that fans and players have for him should absolutely land him a retired number, and hopefully put him into the HOF.

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