10/03/08 10:25 PM ET
Winfield tosses out first pitch
Hall of Famer and ex-Angel caps pregame festivities with strike
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
"It's an honor to throw out the first pitch at a playoff game because I love it," Winfield said. "I've got a lot of friends here. It's very comfortable."Winfield made the trek from San Diego, where he is currently a vice president and senior advisor for the Padres, the franchise where he began his Major League career and played six seasons. Winfield joined the Angels early in the 1990 season when he was traded from the Yankees for right-handed pitcher Mike Witt. Winfield played in 262 games over two years with the Angels and batted .268 with 47 home runs and 158 RBIs. The Angels finished in fourth and seventh place when Winfield played with the club. Winfield, though, credited the Angels for their recent turnaround, as they've won four of the last five AL West titles and a World Series in 2002. "They've taken it up another level," Winfield said. "A couple of levels since I've played. But it was always been a good place to play. This is one of the top places in baseball where guys want to play."
But Winfield wouldn't say if he was rooting for the Angels because of his current position with the Padres.
"I can't say," Winfield said with a smile. "I'm just rooting for good baseball."
Rhett Bollinger is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.