A Tangled Web of Intrigue


Issue #11

Winfield Shuns Yanks and Padres, Makes Futile Attempt to Enter Hall of Fame in Umpire Uniform

August 7, 2001

CooperstownDave Winfield had his detractors when the Baseball Writers of America voted him into the Hall of Fame, and the fuss had nothing to do with his stats or play as an outfielder. Winfield’s San Diego fans assumed that he would shun their team and enter a Yankee, while New Yorkers were positive the slugger would take San Diego money to stroll into the Hall a Padre.

     Well, the man once dubbed ‘Mr. May,’ for his post season futility, proved everyone wrong by donning an umpire mask and protective padding circa 1983. “It was the only way for me to strike a compromise between the Padre and the Yankee in me,” commented Winfield.

     The former outfielder spent a decade with each team in a long career whose success he attributes to experimentation with SPAM. In fact, after one of many fights with late manager Billy Martin, Winfield told this reporter that “SPAM is good for when your blood gets all angered up. It also keeps the evil spirits away.” However, all of the canned luncheon meat in the world couldn’t change the policies of the Hall of Fame, which has decided that it will not let inductees decide which team they represent at induction.

Above: Winfield talks about one of the fondest memories of his baseball career, SPAM. Hormel will introduce a special-edition can later this month in commemoration of his induction.
     “We cannot allow Mr. Winfield to enter the Hall of Fame dressed as an umpire,” read a statement from the Board of Directors of the Hall, a private institution. “We will allow inductees to give us some input as to their preferences, but the ultimate decision will be based on what makes sense. Mr. Winfield has never been an umpire. In fact, it has been reported that, as a player, Winfield would taunt umpires, kick dirt on their shoes, and sometimes fart in their faces while at the plate. It would be a travesty to the game, and to the two teams Mr. Winfield played for, if such a decision rested solely on the shoulders of the player.”

     The Umpires Union made its own objections: “Mr. Winfield is a man who can see his shoes when he looks down. Mr. Winfield can reach itches on his back with his own hands. Furthermore, he has 20/20 vision. Winfield and the brotherhood of umpires represent completely different ways of life. It would be unnatural for him to be inducted wearing umpire gear.”

     Winfield has vowed to do what it takes to follow through with his goal. “I want to be inducted as an umpire. Tomorrow, and everyday after, I will sit and eat Krispy Kreme donuts, run the microwave with my head inside of it, and try to work my way into the majors as an umpire.”

Butch Rogaine recommends Spam as a nutritious addition to any aspiring Umpires heart-healthy diet.

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