Dave Winfield’s career is a unique chapter of American sports history. Hailed as one of the greatest athletes ever to play professional sports, he is one of only 7 players in the history of Major League Baseball to reach over 3,000 hits and over 450 home runs. The 12-time All-Star is amongst the all-time leaders in hits, home runs and RBI. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2001 — his first year of eligibility.
He began his career as a Williams Scholar at the University of Minnesota, where he played Big Ten basketball and baseball. An All-American in baseball, he was voted MVP of the 1973 College World Series as a pitcher, was a #1 draft pick and never spent a day in the minor leagues. Even today, he remains the only athlete ever to be drafted in by four professional sport leagues: basketball (NBA Atlanta Hawks, ABA Utah Stars), football (NFL Minnesota Vikings) and baseball (MLB San Diego Padres).
His professional career took off in 1973 with the San Diego Padres, followed by eight All-Star seasons with the New York Yankees. In 1990, he joined the California Angels, followed by a magical year with the Toronto Blue Jays where he drove in the winning run of the 1992 World Series. Dave returned to his native Minnesota and reached the 3,000th hit milestone with the Twins. He ended his 22-year career after the 1995 season with the American League Champion Cleveland Indians.
He served as spokesman for New York Summer Jobs for Youth, United Negro College Fund, Drug Enforcement Administration, New York Daily News, Ask.com/Susan G. Komen and Breast Cancer, Minnesota Board of Education and the Discovery Channel and hosted the syndicated television series Greatest Sports Legends. He’s appeared on Married With Children, The Drew Carey Show, Arli$$, Pros vs. Joes and Windfall. In 2010, he appeared in national commercials for Verizon and Ask.com and Susan G. Komen to combat breast cancer. Since 1982, he’s been a member of both the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA).
Well-known for his philanthropy, Dave was the first active professional athlete to create a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation – and inspired many other athletes to do the same. For over 20 years, the Winfield Foundation provided healthcare services, nutritional counseling, scholarships, computer literacy, and holiday dinners to children and families in need — in and beyond the six major league cities he called home. He established the Winfield Nutrition Center in conjunction with Hackensack Medical Center. The Foundation’s primary focus became substance abuse prevention through TURN IT AROUND, a community action campaign. The program’s innovative audio/visual and print materials for elementary school children were recognized as potent and innovative tools in the war on drugs. Educators, business leaders and government agencies around the world have endorsed and utilized the bi-lingual TURN IT AROUND materials.
Today he has refocused his efforts towards assisting other organizations reach their business and charitable goals, in the capacity of a keynote speaker and celebrity attraction and fundraiser. He’s helping organizations raise millions of dollars, and gain increased visibility and an expanded base of support. His work was a precursor to today’s MLB and MLB player’s Association charitable components. Besides buying blocks of tickets to games, it was Dave’s idea to open pre-game practice at the MLB Annual All-Star Game, which is now a weeklong event today.
In 2008, Dave developed the format to honor the remaining Negro League players with an honorary draft into Major League Baseball by all 30 teams. He accompanied President Jimmy Carter and his Foundation, the Carter Center, to Africa on a humanitarian mission to combat local diseases and water shortages.
Dave’s long standing charitable community work has earned him numerous honors, starting with: honorary Doctorate Degrees from Syracuse University, Concordia University and Thomas Jefferson School of Law. Other awards include the YMCA Brian Piccolo Award, the first Branch Rickey Community Service Award, American League Joe Cronin Award, Josh Gibson Leadership Award and Major League Baseball’s Roberto Clemente Award, and was selected one of America’s 10 Outstanding Young Men. The Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation in Los Angeles annually presents the Dave Winfield Humanitarian Award for community service.
An accomplished author, his autobiography, Winfield: A Player’s Life was 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” called The Complete Baseball Player; a compilation of syndicated children’s advice column called, “Ask Dave”, and his latest, Dropping The Ball, an in-depth look at baseball’s current problems and possible solutions. He is a frequent contributor to the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times and has been a contributing author for NCAA.org and ThePlayersTribune.com along with the Saint Paul Pioneer Press.
He’s been elected to the Halls of Fame for St. Paul Central High School, the University of Minnesota, the San Diego Padres, NCAA College Baseball Hall of Fame and the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Since completing his career as an active Major League Baseball Player, Dave Winfield has become a respected businessman and executive, advisor, advocate and professional speaker with an office in New York and Los Angeles. He maintains a long history, a national platform, a depth of experience, and numerous successes with a number of high-profile businesses and organizations.
Today, the Dave Winfield name brand represents integrity, credibility, likeability, visibility and consistency from coast to coast and beyond.
His background, business acumen, relationships, and the skills he’s developed over time, specifically Business Development, Communications, Leadership, Community Affairs and Public Relations, are the foundation of success that many businesses seek. And now more than ever he brings the “Trust Edge” which companies so badly need to flourish today.
These essential skills, along with his unique ability to positively imprint and impact others, are not often found in those from the field of professional sports, where one’s profile, character, name recognition and success are fleeting.
His personal mission is, to assist other businesses, organizations and individuals be bold and innovative, show real measureable improvement and reach their goals, objectives and true potential. Along with his inspiration and spirit, abilities and insight, he stands ready to work with, advocate for, and partner with those who wish to build credible new enterprises, and/or advance and bolster their existing business enterprise.