NY Sports Day
Ray Negron

Negron: Bernie’s Life After Baseball

Last night I got to go to the Murray Theatre at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, Florida. The main attraction was former Yankees’ superstar Bernie Williams.

Every seat was filled with baseball fans and music lovers. Among those in the audience were some of his former teammates like David Cone, David Wells and Tino Martinez. Also on hand were Yankee icons Willie Randolph and Mr. October himself, Reggie Jackson.

When Bernie walked on stage, the feeling was like being at the first game of a World Series. It was as if Bernie went up to the batter’s box with his bat, then turned to the umpire and called time. He asked for the batboy, handed him his bat and the batboy then handed Bernie his guitar. At that moment Bernie proceeded to hit it out of the park.

Song after song from Bernie’s magic fingers just mesmerized everyone in the audience. The usually quiet Willie Randolph acted like a “teeny bopper” at a Beatles concert. Willie could not hold back his emotions because like everyone in the audience, the music just ran through your soul.

I have seen Bernie perform before but there just was something very magical about last night. After the show I asked Bernie if there was a difference in the emotional preparation for this show as compared to that of a World Series game and Bernie said that it was pretty much the same. He also said that just like baseball, he practices with the guitar every day.

The elegant living room setting of the Murray Theatre made it that much more magical. It made the audience feel like they were a part of the band. With that type of setting, Bernie made you feel like he was performing just for you.

The true home run in the show was when Bernie was brought back for a curtain call and he performed “Take Me Out To The Ball Game” like I have never heard it before. It literally brought the capacity crowd to its feet.

Reggie Jackson is a man that I have big time respect for.  He is also a person that knows his music. He is also the most brutally honest person that I know. With that being said I went over to him and asked him for his review of Bernie. Mr October had one word. GREAT!!!


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