Dave Winfield Returns To San Diego
SAN DIEGO (AP) _ Dave Winfield was back in uniform in San Diego on Saturday night, 27 years after starting his major league career with the Padres.
Introduced earlier in the day as the newest member of the Padres’ Hall of Fame, Winfield then took batting practice in a group that included Tony Gwynn, a fellow member of the 3,000-hit club.
Winfield, sweating heavily after his session, hit one home run but otherwise looked like a 48-year-old who’s been out of baseball since 1995.
``I’m a little tired,″ Winfield said. ``Baseball players work hard. That’s what I did for 22 years.″
Winfield received warm applause from the fans who were in the stands two hours before the Padres’ game against the Houston Astros.
``That’s the first you’ve seen me swing the bat in five years with a guy throwing it in there,″ Winfield said. ``But that’s all right. I was just glad to be out here as part of a really good day for me. It’s an honor to be selected for the Hall of Fame down here.″
Winfield will be inducted into the Padres’ Hall of Fame on Aug. 19, joining Randy Jones, Nate Colbert and the late Ray Kroc.
Winfield, who’ll be eligible for election to the baseball Hall of Fame in 2001, joined the Padres straight out of college in 1973 and played with the Padres for eight seasons before signing as a free agent with the New York Yankees. He also played with the California Angels, Toronto Blue Jays and Cleveland Indians.
He retired following the 1995 season with 3,110 hits, 465 home runs, 1,833 RBIs and a .283 average.