And there is no doubt. Hall of Famer Dave Winfield gives. A lot.
From being the first active professional athlete to establish an official 501(c)(3) charitable organization (The Winfield Foundation) to funding the Dave Winfield Nutrition Center at Hackensack University Medical Center to providing entire blocks of game tickets for underprivileged youth in San Diego, giving back to the community has always been a high priority for the 12 time Major League All-Star.
“I think part of it comes from the area of the country I’m from in St. Paul and Minneapolis, major corporations used to always give a part of their pre-tax dollars to charity. For some reason, that’s just always sunk in.”
“And with my Winfield Foundation, we try to give to things that deal with health and education; I’ve used sports as a kind of carrot to lead people into these areas.”
But as Winfield admits, the strongest inspiration for his remarkable spirit of philanthropy comes from his mother, Arline, a selfless woman who tragically passed away from breast cancer after seeing her son play in the 1988 All-Star Game. In an effort to further educate the public, Winfield has teamed up with Ask.com and the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation to form “Answers for the Cure”, allowing baseball fans and people everywhere to get involved in the fight against breast cancer.
For every person who goes to Ask.com/ForTheCure and uses the search engine, Ask.com will donate ten cents to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Contributions will help fund life-saving research, education, screening services and community outreach projects.
“Early detection is the most important thing,” Winfield remarks. “There is no cure, but if you detect it early on, you can combat it. If you’re late, there may not be a second chance.”
In his mother’s case, there was no second chance; but by giving back to the community, Winfield keeps her spirit alive. And he is not alone.
In fact, many current Major Leaguers have adopted Winfieldian philanthropic lifestyles, donating their time, money and efforts to educating the public on important health and educational issues. Nick Swisher, Mariano Rivera, Mark Teixeira… these are just a few of those giving back.
“Derek Jeter,” says Winfield, “he stands out as a person who has been totally committed, using his career and his life to be a role model and a good example for others to follow. He has a great foundation. He’s raised millions of dollars. He has helped so many kids. One day, when he retires, he will have affected tens of thousands of people for sure.”
Indeed, Derek Jeter’s Turn 2 Foundation and Jeter’s Leaders Program have both done incalculable work inspiring young people to live active, healthy, substance free lives, rewarding academic achievement and promoting social activism. And Jeter’s inspiration for establishing such charitable work?
One might even say Winfield inspires us all to give back to our respective communities. Who else could turn an unfortunate (and inadvertent) 1983 Toronto seagull killing into a charitable endeavor that raised over $60,000 by donating two paintings to an Easter Seals auction?
Whether it’s hitting a World Series winning double off Charlie Leibrandt in extra innings or educating the public through selfless charity work, one thing is certain:
Dave Winfield is clutch.
And now you can be too. Join Dave and RSBS in the fight against breast cancer. Make a difference today.
Written by Jeffery Lung
Special thanks to Zack Nobinger of Taylor PR for arranging the interview with Dave Winfield.
(Below image courtesy of Padres Nation)