California Sports Hall of Fame 2008 Inductee
In the world of professional sports, Dave Winfield is hailed as one of the greatest athletes ever to play the game of baseball. As a pitcher for the University of Minnesota, he earned the title of Most Valuable Player in the 1973 College World Series. He made history as the only athlete ever to be drafted in three professional sports: basketball (Atlanta Hawks and Utah Stars), football (Minnesota Vikings) and baseball (San Diego Padres).
Dave's professional sports career officially took off in 1973 when he joined the San Diego Padres - not having played a single minor league game. His next stop: 8 All-Star seasons with the New York Yankees. In 1990, he joined the California Angels for two seasons, followed by one magical year with the Toronto Blue Jays where he drove in the winning run of the 1992 World Series. Dave then returned to his native Minnesota and reached the 3,000th hit milestone with the Twins. He retired after the 1995 season with the American League champion Cleveland Indians.
In over two decades of high-powered success on the baseball diamond, Dave was considered a complete baseball player. One of only 5 players to collect over 3,000 hits and slam over 450 home runs, this 12-time All-Star and winner of 7 Gold Glove and 6 Silver Slugger Awards was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 2001, his first time appearing on the ballot.
Winfield's tradition of winning with flair goes well beyond the sporting world into a rich spectrum of philanthropic and business involvements. While he was batting his way to the superstar ranks of pro ball, Dave was one of the first athletes to create a charitable Foundation. For over 20 years, the Winfield Foundation provided healthcare services and nutritional counseling to youth, scholarships and computer literacy programs to deserving high school students, holiday dinners to families in need, and community outreach programs for children - in and beyond the 6 major league cities in which he played.
As part of his hands-on commitment to his Foundation, Dave developed TURN IT AROUND!, an international community action campaign to prevent substance abuse. The program's innovative audio/visual and print materials for elementary school children were recognized as exceptionally potent tools in the effort to combat substance abuse. Educators, business leaders and government agencies around the world have endorsed and utilized the bi-lingual TURN IT AROUND!
Dave's charitable work has earned him numerous honors, including: the YMCA Brian Piccolo Award for Humanitarian Service, the first Branch Rickey Community Service Award, American League Joe Cronin Award, Josh Gibson Leadership Award and Major League Baseball's Roberto Clemente Award, presented to the player who best exemplifies baseball on and off the field. He was also awarded an honorary Doctorate of Laws from Syracuse University, and was selected one of America's 10 Outstanding Young Men.
A successful entrepreneur, Winfield has owned art galleries, an innovative lighting design and contracting company, and is a multi-franchise owner of Burger King restaurants. He has served on the boards of President Clinton's National Service Program, Morehouse School of Medicine, Hackensack Medical Center, Century Council, and the advisory boards of the Major League Baseball Players Trust, and the Peace Corps. Winfield currently serves on the board of the San Diego Padres Baseball Club.
Winfield is one of the most respected motivational speakers on the circuit, addressing such diverse audiences as Boys and Girls Clubs, elementary schools and college campuses to companies such as Xerox, IBM, Claritin, Merck, Kraft/General Foods, GE Small Business Solutions and General Motors. His dynamic presentations cover a wide range of issues -- from sports, education, health, fitness and teamwork to substance abuse prevention, youth concerns and developing a positive approach to life.
Dave has been a studio analyst for Major League Baseball games for FOX Television, and hosted his own morning drive radio show, On The Ball, in Los Angeles. He served as spokesman for New York Summer Jobs for Youth, United Negro College Fund, Drug Enforcement Administration, New York Daily News, St. Paul Pioneer Press, Minnesota Board of Education and the Discovery Channel. He appeared in the movie The Last Home Run, hosted the syndicated television series Greatest Sports Legends, and has made appearances on such popular television series as Married With Children, The Drew Carey Show and Arli$$.
Topping off Dave's career are his numerous literary accomplishments. His autobiography, Winfield: A Player's Life became a New York Times best seller. He also wrote a drug education book, TURN IT AROUND! There's No Room Here For Drugs; an acclaimed "how-to" The Complete Baseball Player; and Ask Dave, a compilation of Dave's two-year Knight-Ridder Tribune syndicated advice column for children.
Dave resides Bel Air, California with his wife, Tonya, and their twins, Arielle and David II. His oldest daughter, Shanel, attends college in Florida.