30 July 2011

Dave Winfield - Travelling Man (Part 2): California Bound

     Fast forward 10 years to 1990, and Dave Winfield is making his comeback to baseball after missing the entire 1989 season due to back problems. After a dismal start (hitting just .213 in 20 games) to what would undoubtedly be his last season in pinstripes, the Yankees decided to get something out of him before he became a free agent and in May, dealt him to California for Mike Witt.  Witt was once part of what should have been a great starting pitching staff for the Angels with Chuck Finley, Mark Langston and Jim Abbott, but was now decidedly on the downswing of a surprisingly short career. Witt would do very little for the 1990 Yankees, and even less in 1991. Witt would then miss all of his 1992 season and be released by the team in 1993 and be out of baseball.

     Winfield on the other hand, seemed to find some spring in his step with the move to California, out from under the influence of George Steinbrenner, and would turn his season around with the Angels, hitting .275 with 19HR over 112 games. That revival would earn him Comeback Player of the Year honors. Big Dave went on to sign with the Angels for the 1991 season and have his best power year since 1983, with 28 home runs. Not bad for someone who the Yankees had written off. By 1990, there were now several players in the baseball card market, so Winfield's only real trade was covered by all the major update sets; 1990 Fleer Update, 1990 Score Rookie & Traded, Topps Traded and Upper Deck's High # Series.

     Donruss, although not actually having an update or traded set in 1990, did produce the last of their Baseball's Best sets (which had evovled from the 1987 Opening Day set) in the form of separate Best of the American League and Best of the National League sets.  These sets were released mid-season and were updated to reflect team changes since the previous year.  As a result, Donruss also had a 1990 card showing Winfield in his new duds:

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