This Day in Baseball History: March 19th, 1989

That had to be one of the oddest relationships in baseball history.

On March 19, 1989:

The New York Yankees trade for Mel Hall to replace the injured Dave Winfield.

Throughout the 1980’s, Dave Winfield would be one the best players in the major leagues and would do it in a Yankees uniform. In 1989, it essentially came to end for two reasons, one not related too much to baseball. The baseball-related reason was a back injury that would keep Winfield out for the entire season. Knowing they needed someone to replace him, they traded for Cleveland Indian Mel Hall. Hall had been a decent player, but his seemingly blossoming power alluded him in 1988 (HR dropped from 18 to 6). The young outfielder would rebound a little for the Yankees by hitting 17 HR, but he would only play in 113 games and was reminding no one of Winfield.

Winfield would return the following season and would be pretty productive, but he was traded to the California Angels mid-season. Because of his season, he would win the Comeback Player of the Year Award for 1990. So why did the Yankees trade him? That’s all apart of the second reason Winfield’s Yankee career essentially ended in 1989. In 1981, George Steinbrenner signed Winfield to a 10-year, $23 million contract, but problems started almost immediately.

First, Steinbrenner thought he was only going to pay Winfield $16 million, and it led to a bitter feud between the two. Second, the Yankees would get to the World Series in 1981, but when Winfield had a terrible Series and jokingly asked for the ball from his only hit, Steinbrenner, not one for losing, wasn’t amused and criticized his player. Third, even though Winfield was an excellent player for the Yankees, Steinbrenner gave him the Moniker “Mr. May” and was often quoted saying he needed a Mr. October. Fourth and final, Steinbrenner began leaking embarassing stories about Winfield and tried often to trade him, but Winfield wouldn’t accept (he was a 10-and-5 player). Where did Steinbrenner get those stories? Howie Spira for $40,000. This connection led to Steinbrenner’s suspension for two seasons.


One Response to “This Day in Baseball History: March 19th, 1989”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Mel Hall is the Greatest !!!!!

    Person and Probaseball!!!!!!

    We Miss you Much!!!!!!!!!

    We sre sadden from those false Accusation!!!!!!

    You got convicted of Man of Color,
    They Saw OJ Simpson and Michael Jackson…. The Jurys dd not care of the Truth….

    They did not see Mel Hall of Helping people they saw a Colored Man……..Sorry 😦

    We will pray for you and Family!!!

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