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Ex-Yankee Bernie Williams misses game but plays on

Former New York Yankees outfielder Bernie Williams waves

Former New York Yankees outfielder Bernie Williams waves to fans during pregame ceremonies before the Yankees spring training home opener. (March 3, 2010) Photo Credit: AP

TAMPA, Fla. - Bernie Williams doesn't know if his career will be deemed worthy of the Hall of Fame when he's eligible, but he said there's one aspect of his 16 seasons he is sure about.

"I know I did it the right way," he said Wednesday.

Williams, who played the bulk of his career (1991-2006) during what many are calling the Steroid Era, was in the Yankees clubhouse before the spring opener against the Pirates.

Williams had fairly impressive numbers, including a .297 average, a .381 on-base percentage, 2,336 hits, 287 homers, 1,366 runs and 1,257 RBIs.

"It's kind of interesting now with all that stuff that has happened in the last couple of years with people that were at the top of their game, and have put so many great numbers in . . . this so-called performance-enhancing era, how is it going to affect the people that had sort of normal numbers?" Williams said.

"How is that going to be taken under consideration? I think it will be a nice perspective to look at it. But that's for some other people to decide."

He said getting into the Hall isn't a focus. "It's obviously something that I can't control," Williams said. "Since that's the case, I try not to worry too much about that. I'd rather focus on the years that I played and the relationships I developed and all the memories that I have from playing the game."

Williams, 41, is pursuing another passion - a second career as a musician. He said he still goes "back and forth" on whether he'd like to try to make a comeback in baseball but ultimately is content with trying to become the best musician he can.

"This doesn't help. Seeing the guys kind of brings the feelings back," Williams said. "But I'm doing something worthwhile in another field. I have a chance to reinvent myself, and not many people have a chance to do that."

But he also said: "I miss it a lot. I mean, who wouldn't?"


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