Don Mattingly: My Hero, My Legend, My Hall Of Famer

michael maddalenoContributor IFebruary 24, 2009

Growing up a Yankee fan in the mid-to-late 80's in Long Island N.Y. was not so easy. The Mets were the talk of the town and, let's face it—the Yankees were putrid.

During a time when the Yankee roster included the likes of Hensley Meulens, Mike Gallego, Greg Cadaret, Danny Tartabull, and Roberto Kelly, Donald Arthur Mattingly was my shining star.

Of course the Yanks had Ricky Henderson, Dave Winfield, and, at one point, Deion Sanders. It didn't matter—my heart belonged to Mattingly.

I can still remember the hot Long Island summer days in my backyard when my friends and I would imitate Donnie Baseball. That sweet swing, the hair, that mouth full of chew. Those were the days.

From the years of 1984-1989 Don Mattingly was the best hitter in baseball period. If you don't believe me here's a little reminder.

1984- 343. BA    23HR     110 RBI     207 Hits

1985- 324. BA    35HR     145 RBI     211 Hits

1986- 352. BA    31HR     113 RBI     238 Hits

1987- 327. BA    30HR     115 RBI     186 Hits

1988- 311. BA    18 HR     88 RBI     186  Hits

1989- 303. BA    23 HR    113 RBI     191 Hits