Posts Tagged ‘Dave Winfield’

Vote Twins’ greats to Pepsi Max Dream Team

July 22, 2011 Comments off

Two of them grew up in St. Paul, the other is one of the greatest Twins of all time. All three — Paul Molitor, Dave Winfield and Rod Carew — were inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

What more could a Twins fan ask for when building their very own dream team?

Molitor, who went to Cretin-Durham Hall High School as well as the University of Minnesota, played the majority of his career with the Milwaukee Brewers before spending three years with the Toronto Blue Jays and the final three with the Twins.

In his first season with Minnesota, Molitor collected his 3,000th career hit, and he remains a special assistant to the general manager for the Twins.

Winfield, who attended Central High School in St. Paul and the University of Minnesota, split the majority of his career between the San Diego Padres and New York Yankees. Near the end of his career, Winfield spent two seasons with the Twins.

Like Molitor, Winfield also collected his 3,000th career hit with the Twins, three years earlier to the day.

Carew spent the first 12 years of his career in Minnesota, earning American League Rookie of the Year honors in 1967 and winning the 1977 AL MVP Award. Carew picked up his 3,000th hit against the Twins in the final year of his career with the Angels, and was the second Twins player to have his number retired.

All three players could be part of a dream team that could square off against you and 10 of your closest friends as they represent the Twins in a once-in-a-lifetime contest.

From now through Aug. 31, vote up to 25 times a day for your favorite living legends and help create the Pepsi MAX Field of Dreams Team. All-time greats have been nominated at each position, from catcher to reliever. For each ballot cast, you will be entered to win the chance to take on the winning Pepsi MAX Field of Dreams Team with 10 of your friends on your home turf next spring, surrounded by family, fans and media.

Between the three of them, Molitor, Winfield and Carew have 37 All-Star Game appearances, two World Series titles, 10 Silver Slugger awards, an MVP Award and a World Series MVP. In addition to the Twins retiring Carew’s number, he also had his No. 29 retired by the Angels, while Molitor’s No. 4 was retired by the Brewers and Winfield’s No. 31 by the Padres.

Each of the three was a first-ballot Hall of Fame selection, with Carew entering in 1991, Winfield in 2001 and Molitor in ’04.

Carew won seven AL batting titles with the Twins, while also leading the league in hits three times. Molitor also led the league in hits three times and in runs three times as well. Winfield was known more for his power than the other two, finishing with 465 career home runs and 1,833 RBIs, which rank him 31st and 17th, respectively, on the all-time lists.

During his MVP season of 1977, Carew batted .388, which was the highest since Ted Williams hit .406 in ’41 for the Red Sox.

Molitor is one of just four players with at least 3,000 hits, a .300 career batting average, and 500 stolen bases. Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner and Eddie Collins are the other three to have accomplished the same feat. Molitor is the only one of the four to also hit 200 career home runs.

Winfield was a two-sport star in college, playing both baseball and basketball for the Gophers. He was the fourth overall pick by the Padres in the 1973 Draft, and also was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks, Utah Stars (ABA) and Minnesota Vikings before choosing baseball.

These three former Twins may not be as fast or as strong as they once were, but fans could have the opportunity to see these three Twins greats play together for the first time.

So, what are you waiting for? Cast your ballots for these legends now, and you could end up playing against them in your own backyard.

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Twins to host 2011, ’12 RBI World Series

April 11, 2011 Comments off

MINNEAPOLIS — The championship game for Major League Baseball’s Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities program is moving to Target Field for 2011 and ’12.

MLB announced in a release on Monday, issued during a news conference in Minnesota, that the Twins’ ballpark would host the baseball finale of the 19th and 20th RBI World Series, after the previous two were played at the Roger Dean Stadium complex in Jupiter, Fla.

Preceding games of the RBI World Series, taking place Aug. 2-14, will be held at various other locations in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.

“It is a tremendous honor for the Minnesota Twins organization and for Target Field to host the 2011 and 2012 RBI World Series in the Twin Cities,” Twins president Dave St. Peter said. “We have been actively pursuing this opportunity for more than two years, and are very eager to show the nation what the Twin Cities offers in terms of a national youth championship.”

Twins center fielder Denard Span, the club’s RBI ambassador, was on hand to share his thoughts about the merits of the program, and his excitement about the championship coming to Target Field. Though he did not participate in the program growing up, Span saw the benefits of RBI baseball through friends and teammates who played in the program.

Span is the latest in a long line of Twins players who have supported the program, including Hall of Famers Kirby Puckett and Dave Winfield, and Torii Hunter. The Minnesota Twins ballclub has supported RBI baseball since 1993.

“Torii, I remember coming up in the Minor Leagues, everything that he told me,” Span said. “Back then, I didn’t realize and understand some of the things that he said, but I kept my eyes open and I watched him, and I just listened to the things that he told me.

“Now that I am where I am, and I’m older, I realized why he did certain things with me and brought me along with him with certain things. It’s just an honor just to be here and carry on the legacy of Kirby Puckett and [Hunter] and now me.”

The RBI World Series is the crowning event for a program that aims to provide free year-round baseball and softball opportunities to kids growing up in rough environments. Founded in 1989, the RBI program now features 300 leagues and about 200,000 kids ages 5-18 participating.

In the 2010 RBI World Series, Houston claimed the Senior Division (16-18-year-olds), the Dominican Republic won in the Junior Division (13-15) and Los Angeles took the softball crown (19 and under).

“RBI is a program that provides underserved children with a chance to learn and play baseball and softball, but more importantly, gives them a chance to make new friends, and learn life lessons,” said Tom Brasuell, vice president of community affairs for Major League Baseball. “Since RBI’s inception in 1989, more than one million kids have gone through the program and gone on to be productive citizens throughout their lives.”

This year, baseball tournament games will be held at Parade Stadium and Neiman Sports Complex in Minneapolis, and Toni Stone Stadium in St. Paul. Softball tournament games will be played at Neiman Sports Complex and Dunning Softball Fields in St. Paul.

Softball’s championship game is slated to be played at the University of Minnesota’s Jane Sage Cowles Stadium.

Twenty-four teams will compete in the RBI World Series, composed of winners from eight divisions in the RBI Regionals.

Mike Hahn, director of parks and recreation for St. Paul, and Cordell Wiseman, assistant superintendent of recreation in Minneapolis, were both on hand to thank the Minnesota Twins and Major League Baseball. Hahn and Wiseman expressed gratitude not only for the RBI World Series coming to the Twin Cities, but for just having the RBI program itself.

As a Florida native, Span acknowledged that many of his friends growing up saw other sports, especially basketball and football, to be more appealing than baseball. Now, when he goes home, his friends all tell them they wish they had chosen baseball.

“We’ve just got to try to get kids to realize that at a younger age before they do get older,” Span said. “Even though there aren’t a lot of African-Americans in the game, there still are [some], and it seems like the African-Americans that are in the game, that they are successful.

“I think it’s just good to make ourselves visible by going to the community, going and speaking to kids, so that they can see that this dream is obtainable.”

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.