Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Don Mattingly Bobblehead

Today bought me a bobble I have been meaning to add to my collection. I was so excited about this one that I couldn't wait to get home and take pics of it, so I used the pic off ebay. Not too sure how ethical it is, but no matter. I present to you, the newest add to the bobblehead collection, former Yankees first baseman ad current manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Don Mattingly, or as he's know in these parts, Donnie Baseball.

To us Yankee fans, when you think of Yankee Baseball in the 1980's, you pretty much think of Don Mattingly. Mattingly came up with the Yankees during the 1982 season. At first, he played more outfield than at first base because Steve Balboni was playing first at that time, but Balboni was traded to the Kansas City Royals in 1984, paving the way for Mattingly to open the '84 season there. What a season it was. he hit .343, beating out Dave Winfield for the American League batting title on the last day of the season. He also had 207 hits and 44 doubles, which lead the league in both categories. He topped that season in 1985 by hitting .324 with 35 home runs, 145 RBI's and 48 doubles, the latter tow lead the American League. he was awarded the AL MVP for that year. he also won the first of 9 Gold Gloves for his defense at first.

Matting would have an outstanding season in 1986, batting .352 with 32 home runs and 113 RBI's. He finished 2nd in the MVP voting that season to Roger Clemens, dispite leading the league in hits (238), doubles (53) and total bases (388). In 1987, he hit .327, with 30 home runs (including hitting a record tying 8 game home run streak and also hit a record six grand slams) and 115 RBI's. Sadly, this would be Mattingly's final solid year, statistically. In June of 1987, Mattingly seriously hurt his back wrestling in the Yankee clubhouse with Bob Shirley. Mattingly would never fully recover from this injury and his home run total would never approach 30 home runs again.

He missed time in the 90's because of his back and became a singles hitter rather than the doubles machine he was previously. His final great series was against the Mariners in the 1995 ALDS series where he batted .417 with a homer and 6 RBI. He hit a memorable home run in game two that had Yankee Stadium rocking. The saddest thing I have seen in all the years watching baseball was the sight of Mattingly, sitting in the dugout in the Kingdome, watching the Mariners celebrate. He took 1996 off and offically retired in 1997. When the Yankees won the series in 1996, he was the first person I thought of.

Mattingly came back to the Yankees as a hitting coach in 2004 and became Joe Torre's bench coach in 2006. When Mattingly did not get the Yankees manager position, he left the organization to become the Dodgers hitting coach and finally, manager. I can understand why I he didn't get the position, it's still funny to see Mattingly in any other uniform but a Yankee uniform. I wish him nothing but the best because if any one deserves it, it's Donald Arthur Mattingly.

This bobble was given away by the Trenton Thunder during the 2004 season and was sponsored by WaWa, which is a gas station/convience store in the east. Can't wait to get home and put him up on the shelf.