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Monday, July 02, 2012

Bernie Williams beaned by Roger Clemens in Boston after Yankees had a 4 run first inning, 8/11/93

Bernie "collected a run-scoring single off Clemens in a four-run Yankees first inning." Final 8-3 Yankees. Boston, August 11, "Bernie Williams can be credited with taking one for the team in tonight's game against Boston. Williams walked away from a beaning by Roger Clemens secure in the knowledge that he gave as good as he got.

Clemens, arguably one of the fiercest throwers of his time, plunked Williams with the first pitch thrown to the Yankees' center fielder in the third inning. Williams writhed on the ground for a few frightening moments. But he continued on in the game -- after he proved that he saw only the allotted amount of fingers being held up by the Yankees' trainer, Gene Monahan, and that he could find his way to first base.

The Yankees had to appreciate the perseverance, especially in the bottom of the third when Williams reminded all of just how special a defensive player he is. With two on and no outs, Jimmy Key needed a rallybreaker. He got it when Williams made a brilliant catch off a sinking line drive hit by Boston's Scott Fletcher, a knee-high catch as well-executed and well-timed as any play made on the night. Key Goes to 14-4

The play helped Key preserve a four-run lead and meander into the middle innings relatively unscathed. Key went on to win, 8-3. Bob Wickman was credited with the save that will show up in the box scores. Williams was credited with one of several game-saving catches which enabled Key to improve to 14-4.

The miraculous part was that Williams, like Wickman got to walk off the field in the ninth as a victor. At least some Yankees thought so. "Initially, I felt like it was a glancing blow," Buck Showalter, Williams's manager, said. "But any time you get hit in the head, you have to have concerns."

Showalter seemed assured after the game that the center fielder was none the worse for wear, having spoken to Williams immediately following the game. Though Williams did not remain for questions after the game, a club spokesman assured that the player didn't depart immediately because of any medical reason.

Williams, one of the quiet, introspective Yankees, wasn't likely to crow, anyway, even though enjoyed a 2-for-4 night. And even though he collected a run-scoring single off Clemens in a four-run Yankees first inning. Those hits extended Williams's hitting streak to 10 games; he is batting .350 in that span. On a road trip that has thus far provided few thrills for New York, Williams has not disappointed, going 7 for 20 with two doubles and two runs batted in in five games. A Pleasing Development

Williams's upswing has been especially pleasing for Showalter, because the surge has coincided the manager's All-Star Game break decision to drop Williams from leadoff to the No. 6 slot in the lineup. Williams is now batting .356 with 15 r.b.i. in that spot in the order. That, combined with the sizzling performance of Wade Boggs out of the leadoff spot has given the Yankees an even more potent look at the plate.

Boggs, Showalter suspected, would make the adjustment with ease; after all, the veteran had done it so often when with the Red Sox.

"Bernie was the concern," Showalter admitted. The concern was short-lived. Now, the manager says, "this is nothing that I can take credit for. Sometimes a player's abilities just take over.""

"Photo: Yankees' Bernie Williams is helped up by Red Sox catcher Tony Pena after he was hit in the helmet by a pitch from Roger Clemens. (Reuters)" (photo not with article, perhaps can be found elsewhere).

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