Don Mattingly, a Yankees great, has another shot in the Hall of Fame

Don Mattingly, a Yankees great, has another shot in the Hall of Fame

Sunday night will mark Don Mattingly’s latest opportunity to be inducted into Cooperstown’s Hall of Fame.

The former Yankees first baseman is one of eight players on the list that will be voted on by the Contemporary Baseball Era Committee. The results will be revealed on Sunday at 8 p.m. during the MLB Winter Meetings in San Diego.

Barry Bonds, Rogers Clemens, Curt Schilling, Albert Belle, Fred McGriff, Dale Murphy, and Rafael Palmeiro make up the remainder of the ballot.

Mattingly spent 15 years on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot, but he never got the required 75 percent of votes; the closest he came was in 2001, when he received 28.2 percent. Now, he has a second opportunity. He must get at least 12 of 16 votes from the committee, which consists of seven Hall of Famers, six team executives, and three members of the media.

Mattingly stated earlier this week on the podcast “The Show with Joel Sherman and Jon Heyman”: “It’s a desire.” “I believe it would be something that any athlete would consider if they thought they had done enough. Obviously, individuals view it as borderline, correct? There are those who voted for you and those who did not, as well as other committees and such. Clearly, you are one of those men that are on the edge.

Mattingly, a former Yankee superstar, was a prolific hitter for the Bombers throughout the 1980s.

“I don’t know how else to look at it than the fact that you played your cards, and I’m somewhat pleased of my career. I am aware that it did not conclude as planned in terms of production or timing. But they are also the cards you’ve been dealt, and you must play them as best you can.”

Mattingly was a six-time All-Star, a nine-time Gold Glove first baseman, and a three-time Silver Slugger from 1982 through 1995 when a nagging back issue hampered his productivity. He earned the AL MVP Award in 1985, finished in the top 10 for MVP three additional times, and won the batting championship by hitting a career-high.342 in 1984.

Former Yankees skipper was a living legend.

He has 2,153 hits, 222 home runs, 1,099 RBIs, and an OPS of.830.

Don Mattingly became a coach for the Dodgers and Marlins following his playing career.
AP Picture by Jon Durr, File

However, he was better recognized for his outstanding first base defense. His nine Gold Gloves are the second-most of any player at his position, following only former Mets superstar Keith Hernandez (11), who has also yet to be inducted into Cooperstown.

When asked on “The Show” what he felt he lacked throughout his playing career, the former Yankees captain was quick to respond.

Mattingly remarked, “This is not winning.” “Clearly, winning is essential. Not reaching the World Series, advancing farther in the playoffs, or even making the playoffs routinely. The ability to reach the playoffs in 1995 was, for me, akin to removing a massive weight off my back. It has been quite a while. I was certain I was ready to retire… I believe that all that is lacking is victory.”

According to Baseball Reference, Mattingly amassed 42.4 Wins Above Replacement in his career and ranked among the top 10 position players in WAR from 1984 through 1987.

Mattingly scored 39.1 on FanGraphs’ Jay Jaffe’s WAR scoring methodology, which gauges a player’s Hall of Fame worthiness relative to other Hall of Famers at his position. The average Hall of Fame first baseman scored 53.8. However, his seven-year peak WAR of 35.8 was closer to the Hall of Fame average of 42.0 for first basemen.

Mattingly has continued in the game as a coach since his retirement as a player, including five seasons as manager of the Dodgers and seven seasons as manager of the Marlins. This week, he was named the new bench coach for the Toronto Blue Jays.

 

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