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Bernie Williams to officially retire before Friday’s Subway Series opener

The once and future Yankees center fielder will sign a minor league contract and then retire before the Mets-Yankees game on Friday.

Bernie Williams.
Bernie Williams.
The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports

Former New York Yankees center fielder Bernie Williams will sign a minor league contract with the Yankees and then officially retire before the Mets-Yankees series begins in the Bronx this weekend.

The 46-year-old Williams hasn't appeared in a major league baseball game since October 1, 2006, but he never signed his retirement papers so he technically remained an active player. Following a news conference where Williams will sign the papers making his retirement official, he will throw out the first pitch to kick off the series against the Mets on Friday. The Yankees will hold a separate retirement ceremony for Williams on May 24.

Playing all 16 of his professional seasons with the Yankees, Williams helped lead the club to four World Series titles including a victory over the Mets in 2000. Exceptional in the postseason throughout his illustrious career, Williams tallied two hits, one home run, and one RBI against the Mets in the infamous Subway World Series.

In his regular season career against the Mets, Williams hit .313/.448/.473 with three home runs and 17 RBI in 163 plate appearances spanning 40 games. Officially retired or not, Mets pitchers were surely happy when they no longer had to face Williams.