Dave Winfield says there's no Facebooking in baseball
Hall of Famer Dave Winfield was posed this question during a Q&A session at FanFest on Saturday: Which pitchers did you enjoy facing, and who was the toughest to hit?
Like most Major Leaguers, past and present, Winfield wasn't keen on identifying who were the easier pitchers to hit during his career. But he acknowledged there were a few times when he did feel like a kid in a candy store after seeing who was on the mound.
"You're trying to act serious and not smile," the engaging Winfield revealed to a riveted crowd. "But you're thinking, 'Oh man, they're bringing me lunch on a platter!'"
Winfield rattled off several pitchers he didn't like to face, including Kent Tekulve and his weird underhanded submarine style of pitching. Winfield also wasn't keen on trying to hit former Astros star J.R. Richard, the 6-foot-8 right-hander who was one of the few star ballplayers from that generation actually larger than Winfield himself.
But the one pitcher who intimidated Winfield like no other was Bob Gibson -- not so much because he was menacing on the mound, but because he simply wasn't that friendly to opposing players, at or away from the ballpark.
Winfield found this out the hard way. He ran into Gibson at a restaurant and tried to introduce himself. Gibson simply glared at him from behind his newspaper and said, according to Winfield, "Grrrrrrrrr."
"They did not fraternize with each other, at all," Winfield said of that generation's players. "There was no texting each other, there was no Facebooking each other. It was a different time. And it was all business."
-- Alyson Footer