|New York Yankees first baseman and captain Don Mattingly.|
Friday, February 28, 2014
Yankees Name Mattingly Captain
On Feb. 28, 1991 that first baseman Don Mattingly was named captain of the New York Yankees. Mattingly became the thirteenth captain in Yankees’ history.
Donnie Baseball earned the honor prior to his tenth year with the team. He began his career with the Yankees in 1982, playing for them his entire career before retiring in 1995. He stepped in to fill the roll after the position had been vacant during the previous two seasons.
Since Mattingly’s departure, Derek Jeter is the only member of the Yankees to serve as captain. He was awarded the position in 2003, and has served it well over the course of the past nine seasons. It appeared as though Jeter’s tenure as captain would come to an end last off-season when he became a free agent, but the Yanks were able to reach an agreement with their All-Star shortstop, signing him to a three-year deal with an option for a fourth year.
Before Mattingly was the Yankees captain 12 others preceded him including in chronological order; Clark Griffith, Kid Elberfeld, Hal Chase, Frank Chance, Roger Peckinpaugh, Babe Ruth, Everett Scott, Lou Gehrig, Thurman Munson, Graig Nettles, Willie Randolph and Ron Guidry.
Mattingly would have a great career on the Yankees putting up a .307 batting average, 222 home runs, 1,099 RBI’s. He would earn six consecutive All-Star appearances, win the Gold Glove at first base nine times, win the Silver Slugger Award three times. He won the 1984 American league Batting Title and was crowned the 1985 American League RBI Champion as well the 1985 American League MVP.
The Yankees retired “Donny Baseball’s” no. 23 jersey on Aug. 31 1997.
Since his retirement, Mattingly got back into baseball, wearing a uniform, but playing a new position. He began coaching with the New York Yankees from 2004-2007, then moved to the West Coast to coach with the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2008-2010. Currently Mattingly is managing the Dodgers, and entering his third season at that position. In his three plus years of managing he has accumulated a 260 wins and 225 losses, good enough for a .536 win percentage. This could potentially be Mattingly's breakout season as the Dodgers are once again touted as a World Series contender, in part to the fact the franchise has spent a lot of money on such players as Clayton Kershaw, Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig and Adrian Gonzalez.