Tuesday, June 18, 2013

"Donnie Baseball" is Back

Take a look at that image.  Nice guy, from the looks of it.  Looks good in that classic Los Angeles Dodgers uniform.  Wearing number eight.  OK.

They say that's Don Mattingly.  He's apparently the Dodgers manager, and he's visiting Yankee Stadium tonight.


Don Mattingly wore number 23.  He was a Yankee.  Hell, for a stretch in the 1980's and early 90's, he WAS the Yankees.  He battled Dave Winfield to win the 1984 AL batting crown.  He was the Hit Man, with a cool Converse poster.
He was the 1985 AL MVP.  He was a doubles machine.  He homered in eight straight games.  He hit six grand slams in a single season.

He was, for a stretch, the best player in baseball.  He was a guy that virtually everyone liked and respected.  Kirby Puckett tagged him with the perfect nickname: "Donnie Baseball."

He made every play at first base, and along with Keith Hernandez, gave New York the best defensive first basemen we've seen.

He was on "The Simpsons."
He has a plaque in Monument Park.

He is among the most popular players to ever play in New York.

He homered in his second career playoff game, after back problems had sapped him of his power.

His career ended much too soon, short of a Hall of Fame honor.  Short - by one year - of achieving the goal of playing in, and winning, a World Series.

We love him and we'll cheer his appearances at the Stadium over the next two nights.

But oh no.  That guy in the Dodgers uniform might be Don Mattingly, but this is our Donnie Baseball.

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