Minneapolis and St. Paul, the Twin Cities’ two cities, are very close in population and size and just 15 minutes apart. One is known for being the place to be, where most everything goes on; the other is the Capital city where all the state-wide decisions are made. Minneapolis has the Vikings-Twins-Timberwolves-University of Minnesota and Lynx; St. Paul the Wild and Saints. When it comes to superstar athletes being born and raised in this area, St. Paul is the Mount Rushmore.
And it all started with Dave Winfield, the three-sports star at the University of Minnesota and the last professional athlete in the United States drafted by the NFL, MLB and NBA in 1973.”I did not think much of it, but I always wanted to play baseball. I have lived my dream, “Winfield said. He has always been elegant with style, dignity and grace.
Winfield’s greatness opened a floodgate in St. Paul: Winfield, Paul Molitor, Jack Morris, Stacy Robinson, Linda Roberts, Joe Mauer. All have achieved greatness, and all are from St. Paul. Winfield, Molitor, Morris and the late Stacy Robinson all won two world championships each.
“The Twin Cities has a lot of parks and activities with recreation centers and people committed to helping,” said Winfield. He was in town last week conducting and kicking off a successful sales business double-header series.
Winfield the Hall-of-Fame baseball player has teamed up with Jeffrey Gitomer, a Hall-of-Fame speaker, to cover all the bases in sales and business. Winfield kicked off the series in Minnesota where it all started for him and continues the series tour in all the cities he played in during his 22-year career.
The tour covers Minnesota, Toronto, New York, San Diego, Anaheim and Cleveland. Winfield said, “Reading, traveling, and meeting new people is something to strive for.”
Winfield is one of just seven players in MLB history with 3,000 hits and 450 homeruns. The 12-time All-Star started the Winfield Foundation 36 years ago in St. Paul by recognizing outstanding student athletes of color with the Winfield Awards held annually in June. His success was admired by so many that he advised Arthur Ashe, Martina Navratilova, Harold Reynolds and Derek Jeter in how to establish their own foundations.
Winfield, an accomplished author, has written several best-selling books including Winfield: A Player’s Life, Turn it Around, The Complete Baseball Player, and Dropping the Ball. Winfield is currently the vice president of the San Diego Padres.
On the death of Stacy Robinson, Winfield said, “I knew Stacy and his family. He was such a tremendous athlete, two-time Super Bowl Champion with the New York Giants. He was one of our Winfield Award winners. His career with the NFL Players Association helping NFL players while working with NFLPA was so valuable. He will truly be missed.”
Larry Fitzgerald can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at 8:25 am, and on WDGY-AM 740 Monday-Friday at 12:17 pm and 4:17 pm; he also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on Almanac (TPT channel 2), and you can follow him on Twitter at FitzBeatSr. Larry welcomes reader responses to [email protected], or visit www.Larry-Fitzgerald.com.