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Former Yankees outfielder Gerald Williams, a close friend of Derek Jeter, dies at 55

New York Yankees icon Derek Jeter made the sad announcement, via social media, that a treasured friend and former teammate had died Tuesday.

“Gerald Williams passed away this morning after a battle with cancer,’’ Jeter said through the Players Tribune. “To my teammate and one of my best friends in the world, rest in peace, my brother.

“My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Liliana, and their whole family.’’

Williams, just 55, had two tours with the Yankees and spent the final two years of his career with the Mets, 2004-05.

Gerald Williams

A gifted defensive outfielder with speed, Williams – nicknamed “Ice’’ – was a 14th round draft pick by the Yankees in 1987.

Williams broke into the majors with the Yankees in 1992, and was a member of the ’96 club, Jeter’s rookie year.

But Williams did not get a chance to play in postseason on that world championship club; he was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in late August in a deal that brought back valuable lefty reliever Graeme Lloyd.

Williams returned to the Yankees as a free agent in June 2001 and was let go the following June.

During a 14-year big-league career, Williams also played for the Atlanta Braves, Tampa Bay Rays and Florida Marlins, slashing .255/.301/.410 and hitting 85 home runs.

His last postseason appearance came as a member of the 1999 Braves, against the Yankees in the World Series, won by the Yanks.

This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: Former Yankees outfielder Gerald Williams, dies at 55