Winfield wanted

With May quickly coming to a close, it simply makes sense now to reflect on the most infamous moment during the career of “Mr. May”, Dave Winfield. In all fairness, that title, which was bestowed upon him by Yankee owner George Steinbrenner, was shed in grand fashion when Winfield helped lead the Toronto Blue Jays to their first World Series title in 1992.

But well before those heroics, Winfield was already aWinfield1 household name in Toronto — even if it was for all the wrong reasons. On August 4, 1983, Winfield — a New York Yankee at the time — struck a seagull with a warmup toss between innings. Unfortunately, the bird was killed in the process, and a short delay occurred while a Blue Jays ball boy wrapped it up in a towel and removed it from the playing field. Though Winfield didn’t know it at the time, that would simply be the start of a debacle that would later be dubbed “Gull-Gate”.

Following the contest, a 3-1 Yankee victory, Winfield was arrested by Toronto police who believed the right-fielder had killed the bird on purpose. The future hall-of-famer claimed this to be untrue. As did his manager, Billy Martin, who made the following statement after the game: “They (police) wouldn’t say that if they’d seen the way he’s been throwing. He hasn’t hit the cutoff man all year.”

Still, Winfield was taken to a Toronto police station on charges of cruelty to animals. Though the charges were dropped the following day, he would be greeted with a chorus of boos during each visit to Toronto over the next several years. Interestingly, he attempted to make amends during the offseason by donating a portrait of a seagull that was auctioned off at the annual Easter Seals dinner in Toronto. The portrait actually raised $32,000.

However, it may not have been until he delivered his famous 11th-inning double in Game 6 of the ’92 World Series that Winfield truly made peace with Toronto fans. One thing is for certain: On that day he helped the birds — the Blue Jays — achieve something the organization had never done before — become world champions.

Dustin McGowan turns in the best start of his career Monday night against one of the stronger lineups in the Major Leagues. The 25-year-old righty holds the Yankees scoreless through seven innings and leaves with a 7-2 lead in the eighth … Lyle Overbay enjoys a 3-for-5 night at the plate, raising his average to .270. In the last five games, the Jays’ first baseman has raised his average 28 points by going a combined 11-for-24 (.458) … As for Frank Thomas? His 0-for-2 night leaves him 9-for-62 (.145) over his last 21 games … Shaun Marcum-Andy Pettitte, Tuesday night at Rogers Centre …

One Response to “Winfield wanted”

  1. joseph Says:

    yes thanks for beating the yanks

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