Padres Editorial: San Diego Padres’ Mount Rushmore
By Jeremy Loeks
Aug 8, 2014; Anaheim, CA, USA; Dave Winfield attends the MLB game between the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Dave Winfield was the first real star to play for the Padres, playing a total of 8 years for the Friars. He also holds a soft spot in my heart as both Winfield and I grew up in the great state of Minnesota. I even remember going to watch the all-time great play in his last years when he played for the Minnesota Twins in 1993 and 1994. It could be argued that Winfield had his best years with the New York Yankees, he meant more to the Padres, than he ever could to the star studded Yankees.
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In his career with the Padres he was a fantastic hitter, who represented the Padres in four All Star Games. With the Padres, Winfield slashed .284/.357/.464 and hit 154 homeruns. Holding multiple team records until someone who may appear later on my list came along.
To go along with his 154 career homeruns he stole 133 bases for the Friars. Winfield twice joined the 20/20 club with the Padres (1978 and 1980), and in 1979 Winfield finished third in the MVP voting. 1979 was a banner year for Winfield and he slashed .308/.395/.558, hit 34 homeruns, swiped 15 bags and knocked in 118 runs. In 1980 Winfield left the Padres and joined the New York Yankees as a free agent and just kept hitting. When he finally hung up his cleats in 1995, he finished with 3,110 hits, 465 home runs, and a .283 career batting average.
In 2001, Winfield was elected into Baseball’s Hall of Fame and became the first player to be enshrined as a San Diego Padre. Winfield defines a Hall of Famer, excelling on both sides of the ball (he won 7 Gold Gloves and 6 Silver Sluggers). He absolutely belongs on the Padres Mount Rushmore.
Next: Tony Gwynn