And The Boss famously referred to Winfield as “Mr. May” for what Steinbrenner perceived as Winfield’s hitting struggles in the clutch.
The Hall of Famer, who spent nine seasons with the Bombers, chuckled when he heard that Yankees rookie rightfielder Aaron Judge already has his own “Judge’s Chambers” cheering section in the right field stands, a new addition that the team unveiled Monday.
Randomly-chosen fans get to sit in a faux jury box, wear judicial robes with Judge’s No. 99 on the back and pound foam gavels that say “All Rise!” on them.
“Judge’s Chambers, huh? It may be risky,” Winfield said. “Making it in New York is a tough proposition, but (Judge) started off well this year. The game is unforgiving. You can do great for a day, a week, a month, a half year. It takes a lot to focus and put it all together. I hope he doesn’t get distracted with all the focus. Figure out the game of baseball first.”
Winfield is part of a group of current and former players who are partnered with Sheraton and the hotel chain’s digital “Beyond Influential” campaign, where he and players like the Cubs’ Kyle Schwarber talk about an individual who had a positive impact on their lives and helped them achieve success. The video spots air this month.
Winfield, 65, said he has met Judge several times the last couple years through Winfield’s work with the Players Association, and Winfield admires the 25-year-old Judge’s quiet personality combined with other-worldly baseball skills. Winfield is just hopeful that Judge can shoulder the scrutiny in the Gotham crucible and still continue to have success.
“I like big guys playing the game,” the 6-6 Winfield said of the 6-7 Judge. “Versatile guys, multi-talented guys – I follow the guys on the Yankees as much as any team, but I try not to be too partial. I’m going to follow Aaron and any way that I can help him with guidance, I am happy to do it.”