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Bernie Williams to sign formal retirement papers on Friday

Bernie Williams waves to the crowd during the

Bernie Williams waves to the crowd during the Yankees' 67th Old Timers' Day prior to a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium on June 23, 2013. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Bernie Williams finally will make it official.

The former Yankees outfielder, who hasn't played since the 2006 season, will formally sign his retirement papers during a news conference on Friday at Yankee Stadium, the team announced. Williams then will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Yankees host the Mets in the Subway Series that night.

A plaque dedication in Monument Park will take place Sunday before the Yankees play the Rangers at 8:05 p.m. The Yankees plan to unveil a logo on Friday related to the upcoming retirement of Williams' No. 51 , and the Hard Rock Cafe is rolling out a souvenir pin to honor Williams during an on-field ceremony.

Williams played his entire 16-year career with the Yankees, hitting .297 with a .381 on-base percentage and 287 home runs. He led the American League with a .339 average in 1998, was a five-time All-Star, four-time World Series winner, four-time Gold Glove winner and finished in the top 20 of AL MVP voting six times.

Williams became a free agent after the 2006 season, declined the Yankees' offer to attend spring training in 2007 on a minor league contract and didn't play again.

The Yankees will retire Williams' No. 51 on May 24.

-- with AP

New York Sports