People Staff
May 13, 2002 12:00 PM

Leave the panting groupies to teammate Derek Jeter. N.Y. Yankee centerfielder Bernie Williams casts a subtler spell. “I usually go under the radar. I’m one of those guys that likes to sneak up on people,” says the 6’2″ Puerto Rican-born Williams. “If Bernie were a Beatle, he would have been George,” says YES Network’s Yankees reporter Suzyn Waldman. There’s something in the way he moves, to be sure. “He’s very graceful in his walk,” says Yankees strength and conditioning coach Jeff Mangold. “He never looks rushed.” That athletic grace has helped Williams, 33, collect four World Series rings and legions of fans after nine full seasons with the team. When the pinstripes come off, he heads home to the New York City suburb where he lives with his wife, Waleska, 32, and their three children. Despite family duties, the classically trained guitarist makes time for his music, keeping the nails on his right hand slightly longer to facilitate strumming. “Bernie is different than any athlete I’ve met,” says Waldman, “because there’s more to him.”

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