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A CLASS ACT

MY FRIEND AND I ADMIRED YOU AS WE FOLLOWED YOUR CAREER WE THRILLED TO "DONNIE BASEBALL" AND YOUR VERY SPECIAL FLAIR!

YOU LED THE TEAM BY EXAMPLE YOU WERE OUR CAPTAIN TOO AND THOUGH THERE WILL BE NEW HEROES THEY PALE WHEN COMPARED TO YOU

YOU DID IT WITH YOUR PERFECT SWING AND OH THAT MAGIC GLOVE BUT IT WAS THE CLASS ACT YOU PORTRAYED THAT ALL US FANS DID LOVE

WE WERE THERE THE DAY THEY HONORED YOU AND RETIRED TWENTY-THREE MY FRIEND AND I, WE CHEERED, WE WEPT THE CROWD ROARED LIKE THE SEA

YOUR FANS WILL ALWAYS MISS YOU AND DONNIE, THAT'S A FACT AND SOMEDAY THE HALL OF FAME WILL HONOR YOUR CLASS ACT.

By:

PAT LICO & JOHN SPRESSLER
April 22, 1998
Reprinted by permission.

DON MATTINGLY: A YANKEE LEGEND!


When Don Mattingly officially retired with an emotional press conference on January 22, 1997 at Yankee Stadium, no one was sadder then me. And, when I attended Don Mattingly Day on August 31, 1997, no one cried more than I did! Don is an inspiration for me in everything I do. His hard work and dedication to the game was an example for all to follow. He is truly a hero to many!

Even without baseball he is a hero! "The Don Mattingly Pro-Celebrity Auction", in June 1996, on the Internet raised thousands of dollars for various children's charities. I was a proud supporter, purchasing a 1991 Mattingly's 23/Coca-Cola uncut baseball card sheet, autographed by Don himself!

He is sorely missed in the game where most players care more and more about their salaries, Don only cared about the game and reaching the playoffs. It truly was gratifying to see Donnie reach them finally in 1995 after all he had given to the game.
Nothing can ever replace the memories I have of watching him play first base so gracefully, or seeing him blast the ball for an extra base hit. No player will ever capture my interest, admiration, or devotion the way Don did during his career as a New York Yankee! He truly is a Yankee Legend!
When he sat out the 1996 season, I was devastated! Watching the game was different for me. Although I still enjoyed it, something was missing. A part of me longed for something more. A link to the past was what I yearned for. As long as Mattingly played, I felt that everything in the world would be alright...that everything would take care of itself. I was just entering High School when Mattingly first made the Yankees in September 1982. As for many people, high school was a very enjoyable time in my life. I grew and expanded my world and watching Mattingly slam the ball and scoop up the bad hop was a big part of it. His best years were also my best years. The high school years, and the several years that followed were among the happiest times in my life. They also coincided with Mattingly's greatest moments. Both came to an abrupt end in 1990 when Mattingly's back finally gave out and reduced him to the ranks of us mere mortals. No longer was he the god-like player that came to the rescue everytime we needed it. It's no coincidence that Mattingly sat out over 2 months of the 1990 campaign and the Yankees finished last! Without him they were terrible. My world also was brought back to reality around that time. I realized that I wasn't getting any younger and I had to start living in the "real" world instead of laughing and having fun all the time. So I got a job!!!
In the years that followed, Mattingly's career was not a mirror image of his first few. He no longer had the power he had in the 80's, but his fielding and leadership, both on and off the field, more than made up for the power loss. No Yankee in recent memory was more revered and loved as Donald Arthur Mattingly. He was destined for the Hall when his career started and I feel he does deserve it. Statistics are not the only qualities that deserve enshrinement. . .loyalty, class, leadership, and respect are just as important. And no one had more of those than Mr. Mattingly!
In 2004, Don Mattingly began his first season as hitting coach for the New York Yankees! I wish him the best of luck in his new endeavour and nothing but happiness for you and your family. No one deserves it more than him!

Joseph Riccitelli, Jr.


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Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with Don Mattingly, his Official site, the New York Yankees or Major League Baseball in any way...nor do I represent myself to be.

This Page Was Designed By Joseph Riccitelli, Jr. on August 22, 1996.
I Last Made Changes On: Wed, April 12, 2017.


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