RSBS Sits Down with Hall of Famer Dave Winfield

dave winfield.jpg“I come from a family that always believed: If you have a little, give a little. If you have a lot, give a lot.”

And there is no doubt.  Hall of Famer Dave Winfield gives. A lot.

From being the first active professional athlete to establish an official 501(c)(3) charitable organization (The Winfield Foundation) to funding the Dave Winfield Nutrition Center at Hackensack University Medical Center to providing entire blocks of game tickets for underprivileged youth in San Diego, giving back to the community has always been a high priority for the 12 time Major League All-Star.

“I think part of it comes from the area of the country I’m from in St. Paul and Minneapolis, major corporations used to always give a part of their pre-tax dollars to charity.  For some reason, that’s just always sunk in.”

“And with my Winfield Foundation, we try to give to things that deal with health and education; I’ve used sports as a kind of carrot to lead people into these areas.”

But as Winfield admits, the strongest inspiration for his remarkable spirit of philanthropy comes from his mother, Arline, a selfless woman who tragically passed away from breast cancer after seeing her son play in the 1988 All-Star Game.  In an effort to further educate the public, Winfield has teamed up with Ask.com and the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation to form “Answers for the Cure”, allowing baseball fans and people everywhere to get involved in the fight against breast cancer.

For every person who goes to Ask.com/ForTheCure and uses the search engine, Ask.com will donate ten cents to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.  Contributions will help fund life-saving research, education, screening services and community outreach projects.

“Early detection is the most important thing,” Winfield remarks.  “There is no cure, but if you detect it early on, you can combat it.  If you’re late, there may not be a second chance.”

In his mother’s case, there was no second chance; but by giving back to the community, Winfield keeps her spirit alive.  And he is not alone.

In fact, many current Major Leaguers have adopted Winfieldian philanthropic lifestyles, donating their time, money and efforts to educating the public on important health and educational issues.  Nick Swisher, Mariano Rivera, Mark Teixeira… these are just a few of those giving back.

“Derek Jeter,” says Winfield, “he stands out as a person who has been totally committed, using his career and his life to be a role model and a good example for others to follow.  He has a great foundation.  He’s raised millions of dollars.  He has helped so many kids.  One day, when he retires, he will have affected tens of thousands of people for sure.”

Indeed, Derek Jeter’s Turn 2 Foundation and Jeter’s Leaders Program have both done incalculable work inspiring young people to live active, healthy, substance free lives, rewarding academic achievement and promoting social activism.  And Jeter’s inspiration for establishing such charitable work?

dave winfield hall of fame.JPGDave Winfield.

One might even say Winfield inspires us all to give back to our respective communities.  Who else could turn an unfortunate (and inadvertent) 1983 Toronto seagull killing into a charitable endeavor that raised over $60,000 by donating two paintings to an Easter Seals auction?

Whether it’s hitting a World Series winning double off Charlie Leibrandt in extra innings or educating the public through selfless charity work, one thing is certain:

Dave Winfield is clutch.

And now you can be too.  Join Dave and RSBS in the fight against breast cancer.  Make a difference today.

Written by Jeffery Lung

Special thanks to Zack Nobinger of Taylor PR for arranging the interview with Dave Winfield.

Click *HERE* to read Jeff’s interview with Ken Griffey, Sr.

(Top image courtesy of Exposay.com, Albert L. Ortega Photos)

(Below image courtesy of Padres Nation)

11 Comments

Wonderful post Jeff. Winfield was at Dodger Stadium a few days go. Love the guy!
Emma
http://crzblue.mlblogs.com

Never realized how great a guy Winfield was. Thanks for the enlightenment… http://stlcardinals06.mlblogs.com/

You know I’m a Met fan but when he was here, Dave Winfield was my favorite Yankee. The guy was so big, so fluid, and so nice! Always smiling and always affable, I couldn’t believe some of the shenanigans he and George Steinbrenner were engaged in…of course based on The Boss’ instigations. His charity work here, and participation with Ronald McDonald House, etc, was no secret. NY’ers were dumb-founded and stupefied at George for all his attempts at sabotage. But that was a different day and a different George when he didn’t get much love around here. Through it all Big Dave stayed CLASS to the end! Dave is damn good people. Great job Jeff….job well done with a great ballplayer and person.
Mike.BTB

Emma — I saw that! During the Yankees series. He’s such a cool dude. I was impressed.
STCardinals06 — You’re welcome!
Mike — I think Steinbrenner was at fault for most of that. I still don’t get it. Railroading a guy for being generous with his money? Ridiculous. Winfield is the real deal. Thanks for readin’, Mike!
–Jeff

What a great interview with Winfield! He was always one of my faves and I was lucky enough to sit near him during a Yankee game once. He couldn’t have been nicer or more accommodating to the fans. Nice job!

http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

Thanks, Jane! You’re one of my favorite writers in the universe, so your comment gave me a big cheesy smile :-) !!!
–Jeff

Nice. Always good to see players who appreciate life and give back to the game and the community. Unfortunately, guys like this are becoming more rare, and the press mostly focuses on the negative athletes. He had a great MLB career, but people need to remember what a monster this guy was in college, too.
–Mike
‘Minoring In Baseball’
http://burrilltalksbaseball.mlblogs.com

Jeff,
People always talk about smooth talkers. Well, Dave Winfield to me had both a smooth batting stroke was well as a silver tongue. He is one of those guys you rooted for to get into Baseball’s Hall of Fame both for his on and off the field charm and charisma.
Awesome post, and have to say, one of the best interviews since our buddy Tom did the MLBloggers Interviews.
Another classic RSBS moment for eternity.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Wow, an interview with Winfield? Sweet! Pretty cool to hear about how he is constantly wanting to give back. I think that those old school guys have really inspired the younger guys–and franchises in general–to give back to kids and their community. And I’ll be trying to use Ask.com more often now, for sure. Good stuff, man.

http://raysfanboy.mlblogs.com/

Mike — He was some kind of athlete. Drafted by three different pro sports!
RR — Thanks, man. It was an awesome experience, that’s for sure.
RFB — Yeah, all too often it’s overlooked. So it’s good to spotlight it every once in a while.
–Jeff

Wow! Dave Winfield! He’s a class act for sure! One of the best smiles out there as well. A great interview thank you for sharing!

I love how he continues to give back it truly is an inspiration to us all

http://mimi.mlblogs.com

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