Aug 24, 2012

Former Mets Reserve Player: Gerald Williams (2004-2005)

Gerald Floyd Williams was born August 10, 1966 in New Orleans, Louisiana in a family of ten brothers & sisters. The six foot two right hand hitting outfielder was drafted out of Grambling State University by the AL New York club, in the 14th round of the 1987 draft.

His career started out well in the New York Penn League batting .385 at Oneonta. He struggled the next season but hit 20 HRs with 100 RBIs & 37 steals in 1990 between A & AA ball. By 1992 he hit .285 with 37 more stolen bases at AAA Columbus getting a call up to the big leagues. Williams would play sparingly, his first three seasons with the A.L. New York team, getting into the most 57 games in 1994.

In 1995 he saw action in 100 games batting just .247 with6 HRs 28 RBIs. In 1996 Williams was batting .270 in August when he was traded along with Bob Wickman to the Milwaukee Brewers for Graeme Lloyd, Pat Listach, and Ricky Bones.

The next year he hit a career high 32 doubles, while stealing 23 bases in Milwaukee batting .253 with 10 HRs & 41 RBIs. After that season he was traded to the Atlanta Braves for Chad Fox. Williams was one of three Braves to appear on Saturday Night Live making a cameo appearance with Mark Wohlers and Pedro Borbón, Jr. on December 19, 1997, in an episode hosted by Helen Hunt.

In Atlanta he had his best season the following year in 1998, batting .305 with 10 HRs 19 doubles 11 steals a .352 on base % & 44 RBIs. He got to his second post season that year going 1-2 in the NLDS against the Chicago Cubs. Then he hit just.154 in five games of the NLCS against the San Diego Padres. His good year at the plate got him to the Braves regular leftfielder position for 1999, hitting .275 with 17 HRs 24 doubles, 11 steals, 76 runs scored & 68 RBIs.

Post Season: He hit .389 in the NLDS against the Houston Astros with two RBIs in the final Game #4. In The NLCS against the New York Mets he hit just .179 going 5-28 with an RBI. In the final Game #6 Williams led off the bottom of the 11th inning with the score tied 9-9 at Turner Field.

He doubled off Mets pitcher Kenny Roger & then scored the winning walk off run when Rogers walked Andru Jones. In the World Series Williams was 3-17 playing in all four games. In his career he got to appear in the post season three times, batting .217 (18-83) with five RBIs, five stolen bases & ten runs scored.

Brawl: Williams signed with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2000 getting career highs in hits (173) HRs (21) runs scored (87) & RBIs (89) while batting .274 with 30 doubles. While playing with Tampa in a home game against the Boston Red Sox, he felt pitcher Pedro Martinez had intentionally thrown a pitch at him. Williams charged the mound throwing a landing a few punches to the Sox star pitcher. This resulted in a huge bench clearing brawl.

Over the next two years, he was sent back to New York (AL) & then to the Florida Marlins before finding himself unsigned at the start of the 2004 season. In late April he was signed by the New York Mets and reported to AAA Norfolk. There he hit .305 with 7 HRs & 28 RBIs in 63 games, earning a call up to the Mets in June.

In his first Mets game, on June 9th he hit a two run HR against Johan Santana & the Minnesota Twins in an interleague game, although the Mets lost the game 5-3. In his second game he hit a pair of doubles in Kansas City against the Royals. On August 19th he had a three hit night against the Rockies at Colorado, including a two run HR in the Mets 10-3 win. Williams then had two multiple hit games in a row at Shea Stadium, against the San Diego Padres the following week.

He saw a lot of playing time in September but slumped to see his average fall thirty points. In 57 games as a backup outfielder, he hit .233 with 4 HRs, 8 doubles a .277 on base % & 11 RBIs. He was tied for the team lead in triples with two, and stole two bases as well.

He began 2005 in the minors with the AAA Norfolk Tides, batting just .230. But he resurfaced in June to help fill in the outfield spots, when Carlos Beltran & Mike Cameron went on the DL after their brutal outfield collision.

In an important July game, he missed a fly ball that was scored a hit, ruining a no hit bid for non other than Pedro Martinez who was now his Mets teammate. On August 13th Williams had a two hit game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, & he hit his only HR of the season. He drove in runs in three straight games that week as well. On the season in 39 games he hit .233 with one HR, three RBIs & two stolen bases.

After the 2005 season he was a free agent but had no takers & retired at age 39. In a 14 year career he batted .255 with 780 hits 85 HRs 183 doubles 18 triples 106 stolen bases a .301 on base % & 365 RBIs while playing in 1168 games.

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