Mattingly's Jersey To Be Retired (The Tennessean 08/06/99)


Former New York Yankees first baseman Don Mattingly will be honored by the Nashville Sounds next week when the team retires the No. 18 he wore here during the 1981 season.

Mattingly will become the first ex-Sound to have his number retired. He is scheduled to attend the ceremonies at Greer Stadium, which will take place prior to the Aug. 12 game with the New Orleans Zephyrs.

"We think it's important that, even though we've had a lot of change in the last three years, we not forget the first 20 years," said Steve Selby, director of media relations for the Sounds and instrumental in setting up the festivities.

"One way to do that is to honor some of the guys that have gone on to distinguish themselves. We feel Donnie is an excellent individual to have back as the first. We're pleased he's decided to come. He's a very private person, but our understanding is that he was very excited when the news got to him."

In his only season with the Sounds -- when the team was the Yankees' Class AA affiliate in the Southern League -- Mattingly batted .315 with seven home runs and 98 RBI.

Three seasons later, in 1984, Mattingly hit .343 to win the American League batting championship and was named an all-star. The following year, he earned AL Most Valuable Player honors with a .324 average, 35 homers, a league-high 145 RBI and 48 doubles.

For his major league career, which ended following the 1996 season, Mattingly ranks among the Yankees' all-time leaders in games played, at-bats, runs, hits, homers, RBI, batting average and total bases, and his 442 career doubles are second in the team's history to Lou Gehrig. He also holds the franchise's single-season records for hits and doubles.

The most recent captain of the Yankees (1991-95), Mattingly's No. 23 was retired by the Yankees in 1997.

Fans attending the Aug. 12 game will receive commemorative reprints of Mattingly's 1981 Sounds baseball card. Mattingly will be presented with a framed No. 18 jersey, and a banner with "18" will be displayed in a prominent place in Greer Stadium.

"We hope this is the first of several special events to honor former Sounds players," Selby said.

By Maurice Patton / Sports Writer

Copyright 1999 by The Tennessean

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