Dave Winfield Speaker & Booking Information

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Dave Winfield played for the San Diego Padres, the New York Yankees, the California Angels, the Minnesota Twins, and the Toronto Blue Jays.

Winfield was born and grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota, earning a scholarship to the University of Minnesota, where he starred in both basketball and baseball for the Golden Gophers. His college basketball coach was a young Bill Musselman, who would go on to serve as a head coach in the American Basketball Association (with the San Diego Sails and Virginia Squires) and National Basketball Association (with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves). Winfield's 1972 Minnesota team won a Big 10 basketball championship, the school's first in 53 years.

After hitting and pitching the Gophers to the College World Series in 1973, he was drafted by the San Diego Padres, the Minnesota Vikings despite not playing college football, the Atlanta Hawks, and the Utah Stars of the ABA. He is one of only two men ever drafted in three different pro sports.

Winfield chose baseball, and gained another distinction when the Padres promoted him directly to the majors. This is a rare move in modern baseball, making him one of a select few players since the origins of the amateur draft in 1965 to make the leap straight to Major League Baseball without playing in the minor leagues first. But he proved up to the task, batting .277 in 56 games.

For the next several years, he was a good, but not great player in San Diego, gradually increasing his power and hits totals. He burst into stardom in 1979, when he batted .308 with 34 home runs and 118 RBI, then played one more season with the Padres before becoming a free agent.

In 1981, New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner made headlines by signing Winfield to a 10-year, $23 million contract, making him the game's highest-paid player. Winfield was one of the best players in the game throughout the life of the contract, but soon had a falling out with Steinbrenner.

He helped the Yankees to the 1981 American League pennant, but then had a poor World Series, and the Yankees lost in six games to the Los Angeles Dodgers. A bitter Steinbrenner derided Winfield by saying "I got rid of Mr. October (Reggie Jackson) and got Mr. May." The Mr. May sobriquet lived with him for the rest of his career.

He went on to hit 37 home runs in a spectacular 1982 season and batted .340, second in the league to teammate Don Mattingly, in 1984. He drove in 744 runs between 1982 and 1988, won five Gold Glove Awards for his stellar outfield play and was named to the All-Star Game every season. On one occasion, Winfield hit a ball so hard that it carried out of Anaheim Stadium for a home run despite that fact that it was hit so low that California Angels shortstop Dick Schofield reportedly actually leaped up in an attempt to catch it.

On August 4, 1983, Winfield, while warming up before the 5th inning of a game at Toronto's Exhibition Stadium, accidentally killed a seagull with a thrown ball. He doffed his cap in mock sorrow. Fans responded by hurling obscenties and improvised missiles. After the game, he was brought to the Ontario Provincial Police station on charges of cruelty to animals and was forced to post a $500 bond before being released. Quipped Yankees manager Billy Martin, "It's the first time he's hit the cutoff man." The charges were dropped the following day. For years afterward Winfield's appearances in Toronto were greeted with loud choruses of boos, but he later became a fan favorite.

In 1990, Steinbrenner was suspended from running the Yankees for two years because of his connections to a gambler, whom he'd paid to find embarrassing information on Winfield. The year was no better for Winfield, who sat out 1989 with an injury. The next year, he was traded to the California Angels.

Although in his late 30s, Winfield was still a productive hitter. In 1992, he signed with the Toronto Blue Jays as their designated hitter, and batted .290 with 26 homers and 108 RBI. The Blue Jays won the pennant, giving Winfield a shot at redemption for his previous late-season and post-season futility. In Game 6 of the World Series, he delivered with a game-winning two-run double in the 11th inning to win the World Championship for Toronto. He spent 1993 and 94 with the hometown Minnesota Twins, achieving 3000 hits and ended his career with the Cleveland Indians.

Winfield retired in 1995 and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2001, in his first year of eligibility. He chose to become the first player to choose to go into Cooperstown as a Padre -- a move that reportedly irked Steinbrenner so much, he tried to get the Hall of Fame to disallow Winfield's choice and induct him as a Yankee.

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NOPACTalent acts as a Celebrity Speakers Bureau and Athlete Booking agency for corporate functions, appearances, private events and speaking engagements. NOPACTalent does not claim or represent itself as Dave Winfield’s speakers bureau, agent, manager or management company for Dave Winfield or any celebrity on this website. NOPACTalent represents organizations seeking to hire motivational speakers, athletes, celebrities and entertainers for private corporate events, celebrity endorsements, personal appearances, and speaking engagements.

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