Where was Bernie Williams?


During the Yankees' Opening Day celebration on Monday, the club honored the so-called "Core Four" -- Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte and Jorge Posada. Susan Lulgjuraj of It's About the Money asks: What about Bernie Williams?

Williams spent his entire 16-year career playing for New York, and was there long before the dynasty began. He was just a 22-year-old kid when his career began in 1991 in the Bronx, and it ended less than 10 years ago. However, it seems as though the New York Yankees have gotten his contributions. He still won four World Series with New York and was the foundation of the Yankees and its fan base when New York finally began to win in the Bronx again.

Does one World Series title in 2009 really make a difference between being celebrated on Opening Day?

Apparently so.

I guess the question here: Should Williams be grouped with the other four players? It was those five who keyed the turnaround from early '90s laughingstock to late '90s powerhouse (along with some veteran imports like David Cone, Paul O'Neill, Jimmy Key and David Wells). Williams did reach the majors first -- he debuted 1991 while the others all debuted in 1995 (although Jeter's rookie season was 1996 and Posada's was 1997).

Is that enough of a gap to separate Williams? Or did this Sports Illustrated cover photo, shot after Williams had retired, secure the legacy of the four players?