After dissimilar careers that included atime as teammates, Dave Winfield and Kirby Puckett head side by side into the Hall of Fame.
Dave Winfield, left, played for six teams but shared uniforms with fellow Hall inductee Kirby Puckett when both stars played for the Twins.
Compiled from Times wires, published January 17, 2001
Unremarkable on the field, the 1993-94 Twins made their mark on the Hall of Fame on Tuesday.
Outfielders Kirby Puckett and Dave Winfield, teammates on the Twins teams that finished a combined 27 games under .500, were elected to the Hall in their first year of eligibility. They joined Carlton Fisk and Tony Perez (Boston), Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford (Yankees), and Lefty Grove and Mickey Cochrane (Philadelphia A's) as teammates elected to the Hall in the same year.
"That's my boy," Winfield said of Puckett. "We were friends before we became teammates. We didn't win together in Minnesota, but his infectious personality affected so many players and got the best out of them."
Said Puckett: "This is not only about me. A lot of people helped me get to where I am. I was really blessed with wonderful teammates and a wonderful manager."
Winfield was listed on 435 of the 515 votes cast by members of the Baseball Writers Association of America. Puckett was listed on 423 votes. Gary Carter finished third with 334 votes, 53 short of the required total.
Puckett and Winfield took different routes to this end.
The roundish Puckett was selected out of Triton, Ill., Community College in the forgotten January draft. He played for only the Twins, his career ending in 1996 after 12 seasons because of glaucoma in his right eye.
Puckett made the All-Star team 10 times, won six Gold Gloves and one batting title. He keyed World Series victories in 1987 and '91 and ranked among the game's most liked and respected players.
"It doesn't say anywhere how many years you should have," said Puckett, a Twins vice president since his retirement. "If you put my numbers against (other Hall members) over a 12-year period, my numbers would be very comparable."
The sleek, athletic Winfield went from the University of Minnesota to San Diego after being taken with the fourth pick in the 1973 draft. Winfield also was drafted for football and basketball.
Winfield played with six teams in a 22-year career, and occasionally found controversy, particularly with owner George Steinbrenner during 10 seasons with the Yankees.
Winfield had 3,110 hits -- driving in Puckett with No. 3,000 -- and 465 homers. He had 12 All-Star selections, won five Gold Gloves and had the World Series-winning hit for Toronto in 1992.
"Today is a result of what I did my whole career," Winfield said. "I probably wouldn't have gone into the Hall if I'd played for just one team. I was fortunate to play for six. I got a lot from everybody."
While Puckett was a Twin for his career, Winfield has a choice of which cap, if any, he will have on his plaque. He is not required to choose. Catfish Hunter, who achieved success with the Yankees and Oakland, decided not to have any emblem on his Hall plaque when he was inducted in 1987.
"I can't tell you because I haven't thought about it yet," he said. "I didn't want to be presumptuous.
Carter's total represented 64.9 percent of the voters, after getting less than 50 percent last year, followed by Jim Rice (57.9).
Next were Bruce Sutter (47.6) and Goose Gossage (44.3) -- the closers moved upward in their bids to join Hoyt Wilhelm and Rollie Fingers as the Hall's only relievers.
Pete Rose, off the ballot because of his permanent ban from baseball, got 15 write-in votes.
Of the 32 candidates, 13 received under 5 percent and were dropped from further consideration. Among them: Detroit teammates Lou Whitaker, Kirk Gibson and Lance Parrish, along with Tom Henke and Dave Righetti
Next year, Ozzie Smith, Andre Dawson and Alan Trammell become rookie candidates.
Induction ceremonies will be Aug. 5 at Cooperstown, N.Y. The festivities will include anyone selected by the Veterans Committee on March 6 in Tampa.
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