Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Bob Shirley’

Don Mattingly was one of the most dominant offensive players in the game from 1984-1987. Don also had no problems flashing the leather at first base, collecting nine Gold Glove awards during his career. He was a perennial all-star, an MVP caliber player year after year, he reached the postseason only once (1995), and never won a championship. I was way too young to appreciate what he was doing on the ball field, but from what I’ve heard, he was one heck of a ballplayer.

Many people always wonder what exactly happened to Mattingly, and why there was such a huge drop-off in production. Here’s the back story:

In 1987, Donnie injured two disks in the lower left side of his back. Nothing was really said about what actually happened to those disks. It was rumored that Mattingly got hurt while horsing around in the clubhouse. His teammate, Bob Shirley, was connected with this rumor, and it was said that they “wrestled playfully” in the clubhouse. Both denied the report. Mattingly was placed on the 15-day disabled list , and still wound up with great numbers when the season was all said and done (.327 AVG, 30 HR, and 115 RBIs).

 

Year R H HR RBI BA OBP SLG OPS
1984 91 207 23 110 .343 .381 .537 .918
1985 107 211 35 145 .324 .371 .567 .939
1986 117 238 31 113 .352 .394 .573 .967
1987 93 186 30 115 .327 .378 .559 .937
1988 94 186 18 88 .311 .353 .462 .816
1989 79 191 23 113 .303 .351 .477 .828
1990 40 101 5 42 .256 .308 .335 .643
1991 64 169 9 68 .288 .339 .394 .733
1992 89 184 14 86 .288 .327 .416 .742
1993 78 154 17 86 .291 .364 .445 .809
1994 62 113 6 51 .304 .397 .411 .808
1995 59 132 7 49 .288 .341 .413 .754
14 Seasons 1007 2153 222 1099 .307 .358 .471 .830
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/16/2010.
 
Mattingly had a history of back problems before this incident occurrred. He hurt his back during his high school days, and during spring training in 1985. After the 1989 season, Don was never the same player again. His back problems continued to flare up, curtailing his statistics, and it eventually led to him hanging up his cleats. He was only 34 years old when he retired. Who knows what would have happened if he were healthy. The following year, the New York Yankees were on top of the baseball world, winning their first World Series championship after a drought of 17 years. He spent his entire career with the New York Yankees, a team known for winning, and he never made it to the Fall Classic.
 
When you break down the numbers, he only had about 5 “great” seasons. He may not be worthy of being enshrined in Cooperstown, but he’ll always be considered a great player and a fan favorite by the Yankee faithful.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: