I was surfing the internet and came across a post saying in 1988 Dave Winfield’s biography quoted Willie as saying a black player could be a “good Yankee” but never a “true Yankee.”
Some serious allegations in there. I haven’t read the book, I don’t know Dave, I don’t know Willie, I don’t know if this blogger is a maniac, I don’t know what Willie said or didn’t….but some quick research below makes it seem like it’s at least in Winfield’s book. Hopefully Steinbrenner and Willie are right on this one.
While looking around for “proof” that this is even in the bio, I found a Times link here that mentions Steinbrenner being mad about some comments being fabricated – which matches Willie’s version.
Then I found this link to the LA Times suggests Winfield did write it:
Baseball Blue Jays Have the Horses-but Can They Pull Together This…
In his book, “Winfield: A Player’s Life,” Dave Winfield quotes New York Yankees’ teammate Willie Randolph as saying that Yankee tradition prevents a black …
You click that link and…
In his book, “Winfield: A Player’s Life,” Dave Winfield quotes New York Yankees’ teammate Willie Randolph as saying that Yankee tradition prevents a black player from ever being a “true Yankee.” Randolph has called Winfield’s version a lie, much to the glee of owner George Steinbrenner, who has used Randolph’s denial in his continuing and disgusting attempt to discredit and debase Winfield.
Two respected ex-Yankees, Don Baylor and Ken Griffey, told Claire Smith of the Hartford Courant the other day that Randolph did say it, though Griffey added that Winfield and Randolph have both taken so much abuse, have been criticized by the media and management so many times, that it might have been said in jest as they tried to analyze any one of those moments of abuse.
So there you have it. I’m not Mike Wallace. I also think people should be able to grow in twenty years and become different and better people. Finally, I will take the Willie’s word if he says he didn’t say it, after all he was Captain of the Yankees.
Here’s the blogger that wrote the interesting piece: