Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 55
  1. #1
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Bronx, NY

    Mel Hall and Bernie Williams early on

    I've always wanted to know exactly what went on between those two in Bernies early days. As I understand it, Mel gave Bernie a very hard time. Any specifics? Anybody care to share info?

  2. #2
    It's been widely reported that Mel Hall umercifully rode the young, shy Bernie Williams, calling him names such as "Bambi." Gene Michael and Buck Showalter realized that the hazing could stunt Bernie's growth as a player, and shipped Mel's butt out of town, as part of their effort to form a team made up of players with good character off the field, as well as top tier ability on the field.

    http://www.sportingnews.com/features...90splayer.html

    ...

    TSN: During your early years with the Yankees, there were some difficult personalities in the clubhouse. There were reports that Mel Hall, in particular, gave you a hard time. Could you talk about trying to fit in as a sensitive 22-year-old and how you were able to handle it?

    Williams: It's one of the things that every new player has to go through to some degree. It was just my luck that I came up on a team with a lot of veterans. You come up with the impression that everyone's your friend, that everybody's going to be nice to you. In a sense, they want you to do well. But then when you start doing too well, it gets into a difficult situation because it turns out that you're taking somebody's job, and that's a problem. I take those years as growing pains. ... I would never do what happened to me to another player. It wasn't the right way to treat anybody. At the same time, it really teaches you that this is a tough job. It toughened me up. It didn't really make a tear in my character. I kept my same focus and same attitude. But it really taught me a lot.
    Fire Cashman!

  3. #3
    NYYF Legend

    flymick24's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    What's it to you?
    bernie's a tough cookie, although it does sound like hall really did ride him pretty hard.
    help feed the hungry:

    www.thehungersite.com

  4. #4
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Bronx, NY
    When Bernie came up, wasn't Roberto Kelly in center? Bernie moved Kelly to left, correct. Is that why Hall was pissed because now he had to move to right because of Bernie? Somehow I remember Hall as a LF and Barfield as the RF. I think I'm getting years confused maybe. I was like 9 or 10 back then.

  5. #5
    Kelly was the CFer when Bernie first came up, and clearly Hall knew that Bernie's presence could cause a ripple effect that could put his job in jeopardy, but he was also an asshole.
    Fire Cashman!

  6. #6
    NYYF Legend

    JeffWeaverFan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    NYC
    I could be wrong here, but wasn't there a certain Yankee (forgetting who at the moment) that told Mel Hall to shut up? Was it Don Mattingly? I could swear I remember this being part of the story.
    “I mean, people knew that Brown was out there, and that Randy was ornery all the time. And Pavano is whoever he is. But if you’re their manager, you can’t go out and write about them like that.

  7. #7
    Originally posted by JeffWeaverFan
    I could be wrong here, but wasn't there a certain Yankee (forgetting who at the moment) that told Mel Hall to shut up? Was it Don Mattingly? I could swear I remember this being part of the story.
    Yeah, it was Mattingly. I had forgotten about that.
    Fire Cashman!

  8. #8
    Your 2014 NY Yankees JDPNYY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Guam
    Son of Mel Hall is not gonna like this Thread.
    Pardon, for us.

  9. #9
    Originally posted by JDPNYY
    Son of Mel Hall is not gonna like this Thread.
    Son has already expressed shame for his father's transgressions.

  10. #10
    Your 2014 NY Yankees JDPNYY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Guam
    Originally posted by ClayParker


    Son has already expressed shame for his father's transgressions.
    That is true, but...
    Pardon, for us.

  11. #11
    Originally posted by JDPNYY


    That is true, but...
    He should realize that the sins of the father should never be visited on the son.
    Fire Cashman!

  12. #12
    Your 2014 NY Yankees JDPNYY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Guam
    Originally posted by Rich


    He should realize that the sins of the father should never be visited on the son.
    To finish my thought... ...

    This is true, but it still hurts to see this in print.
    Pardon, for us.

  13. #13
    I met Mel Halls ex-wife (or so she said) while working out @ a Bally Total Fitness in Studio City, CA. She spoke exceedingly HIGHLY of Mel. We even talked about the Bernie incident and that Mel was courting a HS student at one time.

    All I can say is, I believe she was who she said she was, and I've never heard an ex speak so well of her former spouse.

    I think there is A LOT more to people than meets the eye. And I'm sure there are MANY wonderful, stand up things about Mel Hall. And for a while there, he was a heck of a ballplayer.

  14. #14
    Originally posted by BobbyMurcerFan
    I met Mel Halls ex-wife (or so she said) while working out @ a Bally Total Fitness in Studio City, CA. She spoke exceedingly HIGHLY of Mel. We even talked about the Bernie incident and that Mel was courting a HS student at one time.

    All I can say is, I believe she was who she said she was, and I've never heard an ex speak so well of her former spouse.

    I think there is A LOT more to people than meets the eye. And I'm sure there are MANY wonderful, stand up things about Mel Hall. And for a while there, he was a heck of a ballplayer.
    That doesn't excuse what he did to Bernie.
    Fire Cashman!

  15. #15
    Originally posted by JeffWeaverFan
    I could be wrong here, but wasn't there a certain Yankee (forgetting who at the moment) that told Mel Hall to shut up? Was it Don Mattingly? I could swear I remember this being part of the story.
    Absolutely. Bernie credits Mattingly for helping him get through those early days. From all accounts, that was not a good clubhouse. I guess no clubhouse is when you're losing, but without Donnie, Bernie may not have survived. He was painfully shy, but Donnie saw the talent. They're good friends to this day.
    "You play the game to win the game, and not to worry about what's on the back of the
    baseball card at the end of the year."

    - Paul O'Neill

  16. #16
    Originally posted by BobbyMurcerFan
    I met Mel Halls ex-wife (or so she said) while working out @ a Bally Total Fitness in Studio City, CA. She spoke exceedingly HIGHLY of Mel. We even talked about the Bernie incident and that Mel was courting a HS student at one time.

    All I can say is, I believe she was who she said she was, and I've never heard an ex speak so well of her former spouse.

    I think there is A LOT more to people than meets the eye. And I'm sure there are MANY wonderful, stand up things about Mel Hall. And for a while there, he was a heck of a ballplayer.
    What was her take on the Bernie incident?

    People are complex. Jayson Williams (former Nets basketball star) was and is, by many accounts, a great guy. Good husband and father. Extremely charming, gregarious, and generous.

    But he ended up getting drunk and killing a guy accidentally with a shotgun on his estate. During the trial, some of the uglier aspects of his personality came to light, such as his bullying. Actually, this was hinted at in the press at various times even before the shotgun incident. For example, I remember him making fun of a short guy on the team, in a rather demeaning fashion.

  17. #17
    NYYF Cy Young

    NYCVirago's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    NYC
    Buster Olney's book on the Yankees also discusses how Mel Hall treated Bernie. And Olney also included one other tidbit about Hall I hadn't read elsewhere. Apparently, it's hard to see where the ball is landing in right field from the Yankee dugout, so when a ball is hard-hit in that direction, the players will often stand up to see where the ball went, and to cheer on their teammates. Anyhow, Buck Showalter noticed that Hall was the only player who never stood up to see where his teammates hit the ball, and whether or not it was a hit.

    I'm paraphrasing from memory, as I don't have the book with me right now, so I hope what I wrote makes sense!

  18. #18
    Originally posted by ClayParker
    What was her take on the Bernie incident?

    People are complex. Jayson Williams (former Nets basketball star) was and is, by many accounts, a great guy. Good husband and father. Extremely charming, gregarious, and generous.

    But he ended up getting drunk and killing a guy accidentally with a shotgun on his estate. During the trial, some of the uglier aspects of his personality came to light, such as his bullying. Actually, this was hinted at in the press at various times even before the shotgun incident. For example, I remember him making fun of a short guy on the team, in a rather demeaning fashion.
    Her take was that he was immature and felt threatened by Bernie b/c he was playing the same spot in the OF. Mel believed the Yankees would not re-sign him, even though '91 and '92 were good years for him, b/c Bernie was eight years younger, cheaper at the time and their highly touted prospect who came up the system. Bernie punched Mel's ticket out of town.

    But again, she also said he was immature at that time, so it wasn't all excuses/justifications.
    Last edited by BobbyMurcerFan; 10-15-04 at 11:00 AM.

  19. #19
    NYYF Cy Young


    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    CT
    Originally posted by JeffWeaverFan
    I could be wrong here, but wasn't there a certain Yankee (forgetting who at the moment) that told Mel Hall to shut up? Was it Don Mattingly? I could swear I remember this being part of the story.
    Yes, that's correct. It's things like that which made Donnie Baseball a Yankee Captain. Good job, and I'm glad he could help Bernie become the player he is today a potential Hall of Famer and an All-time Yankee Great!

    -Triple G

  20. #20
    Released Outright
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Queens, New York
    Rich, thanks for posting that article! I am a big Bernie fan and, though I don't know him from Adam, always feel that his intelligence and fortitude are underestimated by many fans and media. I think this article proves my point. He is very bright, seems to have some strong convictions, and yet manages to be a caring, polite, gentlemanly person as well.

    Isn't it amazing that this "shy" and "introverted" guy has taken so well to this brash and extroverted city and has been able to perform at such a high level throughout his career. Even the last two years where he has performed way below his career average, I think we tend to forget the physical problems and liabilities with which he has played.

    Back to Bernie's personality, as I said, I have always felt there was more toughness and fire than people gave him credit for. I particularly remember an interview with him in Spring Training of '98. John Sterling (I think) asked him about making the last out of the '97 ALDS and Bernie said he thought about it all winter and couldn't wait to get back on the field this season. Then Sterling asked him about his contract negotiations and about the fact that being a Boras client might make it more difficult for him to re-sign with The Yankees. Bernie said, "Scott Boras works for me. He will negotiate at my direction. I will worry about that when the time is right." (I can never understand why fans and media always say a guy's agent "won't let him sign for less than..." like the agent is the man's father!) Bernie knows what he's doing.

    Anyway - thanks again. I enjoyed that article tremendously.

  21. #21
    Teaching her early DaPip1998's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    the 845
    Originally posted by The Q Bomb
    Back to Bernie's personality, as I said, I have always felt there was more toughness and fire than people gave him credit for. I particularly remember an interview with him in Spring Training of '98. John Sterling (I think) asked him about making the last out of the '97 ALDS and Bernie said he thought about it all winter and couldn't wait to get back on the field this season. Then Sterling asked him about his contract negotiations and about the fact that being a Boras client might make it more difficult for him to re-sign with The Yankees. Bernie said, "Scott Boras works for me. He will negotiate at my direction. I will worry about that when the time is right." (I can never understand why fans and media always say a guy's agent "won't let him sign for less than..." like the agent is the man's father!) Bernie knows what he's doing.

    Anyway - thanks again. I enjoyed that article tremendously.
    People forget how close Bernie was to signing with Boston after 1998, but he talked to George himself bec. he wanted to remain a Yankee. Something that Andy Pettitte did not do....(although he claims he wanted to stay also)
    Don't look down here.

  22. #22
    Forum Regular

    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Virginia Beach
    The only good thing I remember Mell Hall doing as a Yankee was hitting a walk off HR to beat the Red Sox on Memorial Day in 1991. I believe it was on ESPN and I think it brought the Yankees record to .500...which was a big deal at that time.

  23. #23
    3500 or Bust
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Tristate
    Originally posted by BobbyMurcerFan
    But again, she also said he was immature at that time, so it wasn't all excuses/justifications.
    Immature at that age? More like senile.

  24. #24
    Addicted Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Bridgeport, CT
    Originally posted by NYYRoadFan
    When Bernie came up, wasn't Roberto Kelly in center? Bernie moved Kelly to left, correct. Is that why Hall was pissed because now he had to move to right because of Bernie? Somehow I remember Hall as a LF and Barfield as the RF. I think I'm getting years confused maybe. I was like 9 or 10 back then.
    Wow. We've come a long way haven't we?


  25. #25
    Released Outright
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Queens, New York
    Originally posted by DaPip1998
    People forget how close Bernie was to signing with Boston after 1998, but he talked to George himself bec. he wanted to remain a Yankee. Something that Andy Pettitte did not do....(although he claims he wanted to stay also)
    DaPip - I heard an interview Mike & The Mad Dog did with Boras, Bernie's agent, the day after Thanksgiving - remember, Bernie signed on Thanksgiving Eve. Boras was taking them through the negotiation process and said, he got a call from Bernie the day before the deal was done telling him that he wanted to stay with The Yankees if at all possible and that Boras should work toward that end. Boras said, once Bernie said that, the deal was done 1 - 2 - 3! As I said, the agent works for the player and Bernie wanted respect, both financial and, I'm sure, in manner, (I always felt The Yankees, i.e., Steinbrenner, nickel and dimed him. He should have and could have been signed to a cheaper, long-term deal a year or two before!) but he also knew what he really wanted and let that be the determining factor.

    Whatever - I am so happy things worked out that, barring a major upheaval, Bernie will be a Yankee his whole career. How lucky we fans are to have had him on our team for all these years.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

     

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts