It's hard to count the awards and successes in baseball Hall of Famer Dave Winfield's career, but pinpointing one of his first is easy.
It happened in Omaha.
Winfield, who was a three-sport athlete at Minnesota, pitched his way to the most outstanding player award in the 1973 College World Series. Drafted in the first round by the San Diego Padres, Winfield quickly produced, making his first professional start without any time in the minor leagues. He never looked back.
After 22 years as a major league outfielder that included 3,110 hits, 465 home runs, 12 All-Star appearances, seven Gold Gloves and a World Series trophy, Winfield proved himself as one of the greatest all-around talents in baseball history. He'll be back in Omaha on Wednesday as the official ambassador for the College Home Run Derby.
The event is at 7:30 p.m. at TD Ameritrade Park. Winfield talked to The World-Herald about his time in college and in the pros, as well as some of the biggest stars in baseball today.
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Q: How often have you come back to Omaha or the College World Series?
A: I came once and took my son to a couple of the games at Rosenblatt, and I was there for the opening of the new ballpark, TD Ameritrade, and then this time.