Monday, July 14, 2008

Dave Winfield

Today I received a signed baseball card from Baseball Hall of Famer and Minnesota native Dave Winfield. This is a huge thrill for me. Dave Winfield was born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota and attend the University of Minnesota. He went on to have great career playing with San Diego, the Yankees, California, Toronto, the Twins, and Cleveland.

I wanted get an autographed Dave Winfield card for my collection not just because he is a Hall of Famer, but he was one of the greatest Minnesota born baseball players. Paul Molitor (St. Paul) and Charles “Chief” Bender (White Earth Indian Reservation) are the other two Minnesota natives in the Hall of Fame. Hopefully soon, Jack Morris (St. Paul) will join them.

I have a card, ball, and photo signed by Paul Molitor, so I was eager to get something signed by Dave Winfield (Mr. Bender passed away in 1954, so getting his autograph would be a little tough). I sent Dave a card last year about the time he released his latest book. I got the card back unsigned along with a signed ad for his book. It should be noted that most players if they don’t want to sign wouldn’t even send the card back. It says something about Dave’s class that he at least had the curiosity to send the card back knowing the card might have meant something to me.

Disappointed, I waited for another chance. It came about a month ago when I learned Dave would sign cards if you included a cash donation. Many Hall of Famer charge for their autographs, but I heard Dave does not actually put the money in his pocket instead he uses it to help others through charitable work.

I have no problem donating a small amount of money to player who helps others, so I sent to Dave in June with a $10 donation. I still worried he might not sign (I was not sure $10 was enough), but to my pleasant surprise I received a signed 89 Topps All-Star card signed by Dave. He even included his Hall of Fame year on the card.

They only way I could be happier were if it was a card of him as a Twin. Sadly, Topps never produced a card of Dave when he was with the Twins. I had a card of him as a Twin which I got a Twins game. The card was part of a promotion stage by Rainbow Foods. Since was it the only one I had, I did not to risk sending it in case it never returned. I have since bought another of those Rainbow Foods cards of Dave as a Twin, but I had already sent the 89 Topps All-Star to him.

I cannot complain though. I am very happy Dave took the time to sign for me. Thanks Dave! It was very much appreciated!