Dave Winfield, the Awards, the Exchange and the Seagull

When a sport has gripped the attention for so long as that baseball has had the attention of fans from all over, you are sure to get some memorable moments. Some glorious and others are a little less dignified. Some characters stood out as heroes, and others always have a story following them like a shadow. Dave Winfield is one of these men who made news with and without trying.

Dave Winfield – a Collection of Accolades

A child of Minnesota, David Winfield is acknowledged as a magnificent all-around athlete, a title awarded to him in 2004 by ESPN. Not only did Winfield play for six teams during his 22-year career in baseball, but he also excelled at it. Being named MLB All-Star 12 times, being awarded the Golden Glove Award and winner of the Silver Slugger Award six times. Although retired in 1996, he is still involved in the sport being a special assistant at the Major League Baseball Players Association. 2001 was the first year that he was eligible to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame and he was. Winfield’s career however delivered more than success, but also legendary moments which won’t be reflected between statistics and awards.

Arrested for Animal Cruelty

It is August 1983 and the New York Yankees, and the Toronto Blue Jays are at Exhibition Stadium in Toronto. Dave Winfield, the right fielder for the Yankees, was warming up and when he threw the ball, he had a fatal accident. A seagull came in the way of his ball and paid the price with his life. The crowd severely disproved of his actions, continuing to hurl objects at Winfield while screaming all kinds of obscenities. He was arrested after the game for animal cruelty. Fortunately, he posted bond the next day and charges were dropped. The commentary from Billy Martin, the then Yankees Managers, stating that if the crowd had seen how Winfield has been pitching the entire year already, they would have known that he didn’t hit the bird on purpose, concluded the matter.

Traded for a Meal

Almost 11 years of the ordeal with the seagull Winfield made a list again of exciting moments. It was in August 1994. MLB was striking for just more than two weeks, and that severely interrupted the season. The waiver trade deadline was about to expire when the then already somewhat aged Winfield got traded by the Minnesota Twins to the Cleveland Indians. The other player in this trade would have been named later on. On 14 September the rest of the season was cancelled. Winfield didn’t play during that season for Cleveland. Sometime later on Minnesota and Cleveland sat around a table for a five-course meal. The Cleveland Indians paid the bill for the meal, and the exchange was settled. Dave Winfield was exchanged for a meal. Thus being the only player ever traded in the history of MLB for the price of a meal.