MN’s Greatest Athlete
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I would like start by saying this title can be given to any one human being that has ever played a sport for a MN team in High School, College, Pro, Semi-Pro, or Rec League Superstar. The man I have in mind actually played for three of the previous levels mentioned in this fine state. He grew up in St Paul on the Oxford playground and later went to play not only baseball but basketball for the Golden Gophers. Then went on to play professional baseball for a number of teams including the Twins in what was a Hall of Fame career. The man I speak of is David Mark Winfield.
Winfield not only is the greatest MN athlete of all time he’s gotta be in the running for greatest American athlete of all time. As a two sport athlete for the Gophers he was elite on two sports surfaces. It’s one thing to play two sports but to be extremely good at one, baseball, and start for a basketball team where he was known for being the teams best rebounder. Might I add it was a Big Ten championship basketball team from the 1971-72 season. From the baseball side of things he brought the Gophers to the College World Series in 1973. While playing in the College World Series he decide to become the series MVP while playing for a team that went 2-2. Don’t they give that award to the best player on the winning team? The guy struck-out 29 batters in 17.1 IP and also hit 7 for 15 with a bomb and 2 RBI. I’m guessing I may not have you sold yet. Lots of athletes succeed at the collegiate level. Agreed, but what I got next might convince you. As you might have guessed he was drafted…Dave Winfield was drafted by four teams. You may wonder how that’s possible. Let me walk you through it; His Hall of Fame baseball career started when the San Diego Padres (MLB) selected him 4th overall as a pitcher. Next there was obviously a future for him in basketball when the Atlanta Hawks (NBA) and the Utah Stars (ABA) selected him in their respective drafts. Let’s do the math: 1) MLB 2) NBA 3) ABA 4)???. Well lets see…baseball and basketball were the only two sports he ever played and we definitely have those drafts covered but lets add the Purple Pride MN Vikings to the list of teams to draft Dave Winfield. That’s some big time respect to draft a guy on pure athleticism and think he can help your football team. That’s like the USA Water Polo team asking me to join their squad because I received my swimmers diploma in the 3rd grade. Maybe not that extreme but the guy didn’t play college football and the Vikings felt he could fill a role for them.
Dave Winfield’s Hall of Fame baseball career speaks for it’s self. I’m not going to rant about his 3,110 hits or 465 bombs. Baseball recognized him for what he accomplished as a baseball player and I’m recognizing him for what kind of athlete he was…MN’s GREATEST!!
Just for Fun my TOP 5
1) Dave Winfield – reread top
2) KIrby Puckett – Changed the passion for Twins baseball after his very first MLB hit. HOF career. 2 x World Champ. 6 x Gold Glove.
3) Kevin Garnett – Made basketball in MN worth watching from ‘95 to ‘07. His work ethic is unmatched. Future HOF. 1 NBA title. Career stats 19.5 ppg 10.7 rbs 4.1 ast. NBA MVP.
NBA Def POY. 4 x All NBA Team
4) Kevin McHale – Put MN on the map as a legit basketball state. HOF career. 3 NBA titles. Career stats 17.9 ppg 7.3 rbs. 1 x All NBA Team.
3 x All NBA 1st Def. Team. NBA All Rookie Team. 9 x All NBA Def. Team. 4 x NBA Rebounding Champ.
5) Randy Moss – “Straight Cash Homie” Future HOF. Offensive ROY. 5 x All Pro. Record 23 TD’s in one season