Five-time All-Star Bernie Williams will be among the six inductees who will be announced when the Latino Baseball Hall of Fame unveils its 2012 inductee class at Major League Baseball’s headquarters in New York City on Thursday, September 1st at 11:00 a.m. (ET). Williams is scheduled to be in attendance, along with Latino Baseball Hall of Famers Felipe Alou, Minnie Minoso and Tony Perez, who will be on hand to participate in the announcement of the new class. Omar Minaya, the former general manager of the New York Mets and Montreal Expos, will serve as the emcee of the press conference.
Six players whose careers impacted baseball after 1959 will represent the newest Latino Baseball Hall of Famers, chosen from a pool of 24 finalists. Williams will represent his native Puerto Rico, while his five fellow inductees will hail from Cuba, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Mexico and Panama. Additional selections will include veteran players and baseball executives whose contributions to baseball were made prior to 1959.
Williams, a member of four World Championship teams with the New York Yankees, played 16 years for the Bronx Bombers, from 1991-2006. The switch-hitter posted a .287 career batting average with 287 home runs, 1,257 RBI and 1,366 runs scored. Williams was an American League All-Star each season from 1997-2001 and the center fielder was a four-time Gold Glove winner (1997-2000). The Most Valuable Player of the 1996 American League Championship Series collected 22 home runs, 80 RBI and a .371 on-base percentage in 121 career Postseason games overall. Williams was the 1998 American League batting champion with a .339 average.
The accomplished musician is recording his third album this year and has co-authored a book, published by Hal Leonard Books, titled, Rhythms of the Game: The Link Between Music and Athletic Performance. His first album, The Journey Within, was released in 2003 and featured fusions of jazz, rock and the tropical rhythms of Williams’ heritage. His second album, Moving Forward, featured guest appearances by Bruce Springsteen and Jon Secada.
The 2012 class of Latino Hall of Famers will be officially inducted on February 11, 2012 in a ceremony at the Altos de Chavón amphitheater located in the Casa de Campo resort in La Romana, Dominican Republic. Established in 2009, the Latino Baseball Hall of Fame (Salón de la Fama del Béisbol Latino) has hosted two previous induction ceremonies, honoring 38 players and personalities whose achievements have impacted baseball in Latin America. Drawings for the museum of the Latino Baseball Hall of Fame have been completed and construction in La Romana is scheduled to start in the near future.