In the Mailbox
Yesterday, Congressman José E. Serrano sent a letter to Commissioner Adrian Benepe, the head of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, urging him to name some part of Heritage Field in the Bronx after all-time great Yankee Bernie Williams.
The full text of the letter follows:
June 30, 2010
Commissioner Adrian Benepe
New York City Department of Parks & Recreation
The Arsenal, Central Park
830 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10065
Dear Commissioner Benepe:
Since the mid-20th century the Puerto Rican community has been an integral part of the Bronx’s culture and identity. No one in New York is prouder of their borough than we are, and no one is more dedicated to our greatest pastime, baseball, than us. We are true Yankees fans. For this reason I ask that you consider honoring the Puerto Rican contribution to the Bronx, and to the Bronx Bombers, in some way, at the new Heritage Field currently under construction at the site of the original Yankees Stadium.
In my view, the best way to acknowledge the Puerto Rican/Yankee connection would be to recognize a notable Puerto Rican Yankee in some way at Heritage Field. You should look for someone who has been a role model for our community, someone who many Bronx residents look up to, and someone that we are all proud of. There is no better suited candidate than former Major League Baseball outfielder Mr. Bernie Williams.
Mr. Williams was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and signed with the Yankees AA team in 1985. He debuted in the Major Leagues on July 7, 1991 and last played for the Yankees on October 1, 2006. There is no question that he was an asset to this historic ball club. During his career he was a five-time All-Star selection, a four-time World Series champion, a four-time Gold Glove Award winner, a Silver Slugger award winner, a 1998 AL batting champion, and an ALCS Most Valuable Player.
Such dedication will not be overlooked by the many children, teenagers, and adults that will enjoy this park. Mr. Williams is very well known in the community, and is considered to be one of the best Puerto Rican baseball players the Yankees have ever had, and undoubtedly one of baseball’s greatest. Although there have been many great players who have donned the pinstripes, Mr. William’s statistics are comparable with the best. With this ball club he ranks 5th in hits, 6th in games played, 6th in homeruns, and 6th in runs batted in.
Mr. Williams has always been a gentleman who embraces his fans with open arms and who never forgets to thank them for their long years of support. He is a class act, and because of the way he has conducted his off-field life; he is an outstanding role model to our young people. Our community and our borough admire Mr. Williams not only for his great baseball legacy but also for the inspiration he provides many Bronx residents.
Currently Bernie Williams has taken a new path in life by pursuing his musical career. With this new talent he has performed in numerous charity events. In September 2009, he was nominated for a Latin Grammy for his Moving Forward album.
Honoring Bernie Williams in some way at Heritage Field will not only give recognition to his great work for the Yankees, but would also be seen as an appreciation for the many Puerto Ricans and Latinos who have helped shape our borough and community.
Congressman José E. Serrano
Congressman José E. Serrano has represented the Bronx in Congress since 1990.