Don Mattingly not dwelling on his Hall of Fame case
  • Wednesday, January 16, 2019
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Don Mattingly not dwelling on his Hall of Fame case


    Don Mattingly, foreground, talks to a group of Major League Baseball all-star players at Les Murakami Stadium on Nov. 3. The players took part in last month’s Major League Baseball 2018 All-Star Tour with Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan, where they played a series of exhibition games.


LAS VEGAS >> Don Mattingly says he’s not dwelling on whether he belongs in the Hall of Fame.

A day after Harold Baines was a surprising choice for the Hall, Mattingly says he’s content knowing what he accomplished on the field.

The Miami manager was a six-time All-Star, won nine Gold Gloves at first base for the Yankees and hit .307 lifetime. Mattingly was the 1985 AL MVP and four times finished in the top seven of the MVP voting.

Mattingly finished with 2,153 hits, 222 home runs and 1,099 RBIs in 14 seasons in a career limited by back trouble.

“I just didn’t play long enough. Wasn’t able to stay healthy long enough to really put that pile of numbers together,” he said at the MLB winter meetings today. “So there was a period of time that I could hit with anybody and do things on the field at my position and with the bat that nobody was doing.”

Baines also was a six-time All-Star. He never finished higher than ninth in MVP voting, and had 1,628 RBIs, 384 home runs, 2,866 hits and a .289 average in a 22-year career, mostly as a designated hitter.

“When I think of myself, when you see Harold, played 22 years or something like that and you end up with a pile of numbers that grow and grow, you know, I think Harold had 2,800 hits. I hit 21-something. I do it in 13 years, 12 years, less than 13,” Mattingly said.

Baines and Lee Smith were elected Sunday by a 16-member panel picked by the Hall. Baines’ choice raised debate about whether the likes of Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Dwight Evans also deserved to be in Cooperstown.

“Just happy for Harold and Lee. I played with Lee just a brief time in New York and watched Harold over the years. He’s a great hitter,” Mattingly said.

“I don’t worry much about myself from the whole situation, because quite honestly, the Hall of Fame comes, if you get in, you say, OK, write ‘HOF’ on the ball, and after that your life’s going to be the same.”

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