With A Bat Or A Guitar, Bernie Williams Is Still Cranking Out Big Hits

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For sixteen seasons, Bernie Williams personified grace under pressure as he patrolled center field at Yankee Stadium. He was on four World Series championship teams and racked up 2,336 hits in his major league career. Williams is still producing hits today, but in a different field; he has devoted himself to becoming an accomplished classically trained jazz guitarist. He has released two albums and performed with various musicians, from Bruce Springsteen and Jon Secada to Ruben Blades and Gilberto Santo Rosa.

Williams dropped in on 710 WOR’s Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning program to discuss his success with the guitar, a passion that he says is all due to the values his parents instilled in him.

“It’s so hard to figure out what you want to do, and I think I do give my parents a lot of credit,” Williams told Berman and Riedel. “What they did was just provide me with a whole bunch of options. They said, well, we’re going to expose you to arts and music and sports, and my parents, you know, I guess their thing was, we want you to be well-rounded and we want you to have a lot of options, so you make your decision but whatever you decide to do, you’ve just got to do it 100%.”


Williams contrasted the worlds of sports and music, saying each endeavor provides a virtuoso with moments to shine. “[Baseball] is a high-pressure, high-profile environment, and you have to be on your toes all the time, and it’s all about the next moment. I welcomed all those situations because, as a baseball player, that’s what you do. You want to be in those situations. As a musician, however, I think you can take it a little bit easier. It’s still the same amount of work, the same amount of effort, and the discipline, trying to master your instrument and make sure you have a lot of control in that, but the fans are not looking to boo you if you play a bad note. They want to be entertained and they’re pulling for you.”

Bernie Williams will be appearing at the Café Carlyle from Tuesday, April 9th to Saturday, April 13th. Tickets and show information can be found at exploretock.com/cafecarlyle.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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