Tag Archives: Dave Winfield

JUNE 7-From the school yard to “The Show”

*1973 | NEW YORK, NEW YORKThis doesn’t happen very often. Three players chosen in the first round of the major league draft on this date in 1973 went straight to the major leagues. Number one pick David Clyde went from high school to the Texas Rangers. Outfielder Dave Winfield went from the University of Minnesota campus to the San Diego Padres. And Eddie Bane went from Arizona State University to the Minnesota Twins as a pitcher.

Another player from that draft became a regular major leaguer at 18 – Robin Yount – though he technically did not go straight from high school. He became the regular Milwaukee Brewer shortstop the following spring.

The results of these “can’t miss” draftees were mixed.

David Clyde started and won his first major league start June 27, 1973. His career was not a memorable one though. Clyde developed arm problems and his major league career was over before he was 25.
Dave Winfield was a highly sought-after athlete. The same year he was drafted by MLB, he was also drafted by the National Basketball Association and the National Football League. He never played professional football or basketball, deciding to stick with baseball. His major league career was spent mostly with the San Diego Padres and New York Yankees. He made his MLB debut June 19, 1973

Eddie Bane had an impressive major league debut July 4th 1973. He gave up one earned run over 7 innings, but got a no-decision. He finished the year 0-5 in 1973. He never quite got it together in “the show,” and was out of baseball by 1976.

MLB Draft: The 1970’s
David Clyde  
Robin Yount
Dave Winfield


March 23rd in baseball history-GEORGE, HOWIE & DAVE

1990 | BRONX, NEW YORK – A messy soap opera involving New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner and Dave Winfield, one of his players, hit the headlines again today with the arrest of Howard Spira. Spira, a small-time gambler and former sports radio station stringer, was arrested and charged with extortion. 

Spira was convicted a year later for trying to extort $110,000 from Steinbrenner. The mess ended up getting the Yankee owner banned from baseball when it was revealed that he had given Spira $40,000 to find out some dirt about Winfield. Steinbrenner insisted the money was to help “Howie” get back on his feet.

Steinbrenner and Winfield had been feuding for a number of reasons since Winfield signed a 10-year, $23 million contract with the Yankees that Steinbrenner didn’t feel he quite lived up to. Winfield was upset with Steinbrenner for, among other things, claiming he reneged on a promise to donate $300,000 to Winfield’s foundation. That’s where Howard Spira came in. Spira once worked as a publicist for the Foundation. Steinbrenner paid Spira to find out some stuff on Winfield that Steinbrenner could use against him.

Steinbrenner was reinstated as Yankees owner in 1993. Howard Spira served 26 months in a federal prison for extortion. What’s never been clear is why someone with the resources of George Steinbrenner would seek out someone like Howie Spira rather than, say, an ex-FBI agent.

Contributing sources: