Since Game 6 is cancelled tonight, you’ll have time to check out this long piece on Howie Spira by Luke O’Brien over at Deadspin:
Howie recognized opportunity when it arrived in 1981, from the San Diego Padres. Dave Winfield was a four-time All-Star, a two-time Gold Glove winner, and one of the best athletes on the planet—drafted out of college in 1973 by pro teams in three sports. Howie had introduced himself to Winfield a year earlier when the Padres were in town to play the Mets. A few months later, the Yankees inked the outfielder to the richest contract in baseball—$23 million over 10 years—and Howie started in with the blandishments.
“I was focused on Dave like a horse with blinders,” he said. “He was going to be the wealthiest, most powerful ballplayer, and I made up my mind that that was the place for me.”
Howie sent a dozen long-stemmed roses to the secretary at Winfield’s charity. The flowers were Howie’s calling card. When he played at journalism, he sent roses to almost every girl who worked for the Mets. Hit on most of them, too. Winfield’s secretary agreed to go on a date. “We had dinner,” Howie said. “And she was the dinner.”