Dave Winfield (2001)
In 1969, Dave Winfield won an athletic scholarship to the University of Minnesota. He was an outstanding athlete there and after he graduated, he was drafted by the San Diego Padres. Prior to joining the Padres, Winfield was a pitcher but the Padres immediately placed him in right field, the position he played for most of his major league baseball career.
Winfield went from college baseball directly to the major leagues, bypassing minor league baseball. In 1973, his first season with the Padres, Winfield batted .277 with 39 hits in 56 games. By 1978, he had proven his worth to the Padres and they made him the team's captain.
Winfield played with the Padres through the 1980 season. During that time, he won two Gold Gloves (1979, 1980). He became a free agent after the 1980 season and he signed a 10-year, $23 million contract with the New York Yankees, making him the highest paid player in the major leagues at the time.
During his time with the Yankees (1981-1990), Winfield won five more Gold Gloves (1982-1985, 1987) for a total of seven and five Silver Slugger awards (1981-1985). In 1989, Winfield was out for the entire season with a back injury. The following season, after years of owner George Steinbrenner feuding with Winfield, the Yankees traded him to the Los Angeles Angels. He played in 112 games with the Angels and batted .275 with 18 doubles, 19 home runs, and 72 RBIs. Those numbers earned Winfield the American League Comeback Player of the Year award.
In December, 1991, at the age of 40, Winfield signed a contract with the Toronto Blue Jays to be their designated hitter for the 1992 season. He won his sixth Silver Slugger award for his hitting with the Blue Jays.
Winfield became a free agent again after the 1992 season and he signed with the Minnesota Twins. In the strike-shortened 1994 season, the Twins traded Winfield to the Cleveland Indians but he never had the chance to play with them that season due to the strike. However, he signed a new contract with them in October, 1994, and played in 46 games with the Indians in 1995, his last season in the major leagues.
Batting statistics for Winfield in 19 full seasons (1974-1988, 1990-1993) in the major leagues include:
- 11 seasons with over 150 hits, with a high of 193 in 1984
- 6 seasons with 30 or more doubles, with a high of 37 in 1988
- 15 seasons with 20 or more home runs, with a high of 37 in 1982
- 8 seasons with 100 or more RBIs, with a high of 118 in 1979
- 4 seasons with over 20 stolen bases, with a high of 26 in 1976
- 4 seasons with a batting average over .300, with a high of .340 in 1984
Career fielding statistics for Winfield as an outfielder include:
- 2,469 games played
- 95 errors
- 4,975 putouts
- .982 fielding percentage
Career batting statistics for Winfield include:
- 2,973 games played
- 3,110 hits
- 540 doubles
- 465 home runs
- 1,834 RBIs
- 223 stolen bases
- .283 batting average