Dave Winfield 1974 #456
by William Szczepanek
Dave Winfield played 22 years for six teams, primarily for the San Diego Padres and New York Yankees. 1979 is often considered Winfield's best year when he hit 34 home runs and led the league with 118 RBI and 333 Total bases, though he did hit .340 in 1984 losing the batting title to teammate Don Mattingly by.003 points. He ranks 14th in career total bases with 5,221, 20th in career hits with 3, 110, 30th in doubles with 540 31st in home runs with 465 and 17th in career RBIs with 1,833. A very durable player he ranks 11th all time in games played with 2,973 and 8th in career At Bats with 11,003.
His longevity is remarkable, but with it come some negatives like 5th all-time in Grounding into Double Plays with 319. That puts him in good company with the leaders in that category being: Cal Ripken, Ivan Rodriguez, Henry Aaron and Carl Yastrzemski.
Winfield was in a constant feud with George Steinbrenner. After 9 years with the Yankees he was traded to California and in 1990 won the Comeback Player of the Year Award. After a couple of years he was traded to Toronto where he led the Blue Jays to a World Championship in 1992.
"The only players that are having fun are those having a good year, feasting on pitching or blowing down hitters and garnering all the adulation that goes with it. But, if you're not hitting or not throwing well, or are injured, you better look for fun someplace else." ─ Dave Winfield
Winfield accidentally killed a seagull while warming up between innings in Toronto. He was taken to the police station and charged with cruelty to animals. Yankee manager Billy Martin joked, "It's the first time he's hit the cutoff man all season." Charges were eventually dropped.
In 2004, ESPN named him the third-best all-around athlete of all time in any sport, behind Jim Brown and Jim Thorpe. Winfield retired in 1996 and in 2001 was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. He was the first player, by his own decision, to go into Cooperstown as a Padre — a move that reportedly irked Yankees' owner George Steinbrenner.
You can check out Winfield's statistics at Baseball Reference.com.