Katz: Bizarre love triangle: The Yankees’ new order for 1981

From SABR member Jeff Katz at Jeff-Katz.com on July 10, 2015:

“I like you a lot, Dave,” Yankee owner George Steinbrenner told Dave Winfield in the limo. “I can take you places I could never take Reggie.” Like a bored lover, “The Boss” saw new excitement with Winfield, the freshest free agent, then he did with stale old Reggie Jackson.

Early December 1980 brought Winfield to New York for last minute talks with both the Mets and the Yankees. Steinbrenner knew how to flirt, sending flowers and Broadway tickets to Winfield’s hotel room. Smarting from his failure to convince erstwhile Dodger and now Houston Astros’ pitcher Don Sutton to join the Yankees, Steinbrenner told reporters “We didn’t need Sutton but Dave Winfield is a different matter. He’s the piece to fit into the puzzle. Don’t count us out on Winfield.” 

Just as he had sought the late Thurman Munson’s feelings before signing Jackson in November 1976, now Steinbrenner wanted Jackson’s take on Winfield. Jackson arrived for dinner at Elaine’s in cowboy hat and sweater, the popularity of The Dukes of Hazzard, Dallas and Urban Cowboy having set off a fashion frenzy of big brimmed hats and giant belt buckles.

Read the full article here: http://www.jeff-katz.com/#!Bizarre-Love-Triangle-The-Yankees%E2%80%99-New-Order-for-1981/c1q8z/559fc0c50cf21636d2fac7f3

Originally published: July 15, 2015. Last Updated: July 15, 2015.