Evansville’s Own Don Mattingly Gets His Own Documentary on MLB Network
Whenever you think of famous people from Evansville, the first name that comes to mind is Don Mattingly (and if it's not, it's certainly near the top of the list). Before he entered the coaching and managing ranks, Mattingly earned the nickname, "Donnie Baseball" during his 14-year career as the first baseman for the New York Yankees. Over that nearly decade-and-a-half timeframe, he became the face of the iconic franchise and was embraced by fans who not only have extremely high expectations for their team but are notoriously tough to please. Those years will be the focus of, Donnie Baseball, a new documentary on his playing days set to debut on MLB Network.
The show is part of the Network's "MLB Network Presents" series (similar to the 30 for 30 series on ESPN, except each show is baseball-related) and will debut this Sunday (April 3rd, 2022) at 6:30 PM Central / 7:30 PM Eastern.
According to a press release from the network announcing the premiere, this is what we can expect to see:
The program details Mattingly’s transformation from what Buck Showalter described was a “gangly, kind of long-necked [player] that kept the bat in the zone a long time,” to a baseball superstar who captured a batting title and an AL MVP award by his fourth season. Mattingly’s relationship with the late George M. Steinbrenner IIIis explored, from Steinbrenner threatening to trade him in the spring of 1989 to naming him team captain in 1991. Despite the back flareups which constantly plagued the later stages of his career, the program highlights how Mattingly was an influential force behind the Yankees’ revitalization that reached full throttle by 1994 and into 1995.[/pullquotes]
The documentary will include interview clips from Mattingly himself along with comments from former teammates, players, and broadcasters who were part of Don's journey in one way or another, including, "New York Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner, Hall of Famer Wade Boggs, four-time World Series Champion Bernie Williams, two-time World Series Champion Ron Guidry, former Yankees teammate Mike Pagliarulo" as well as Mattingly’s high school coach at Memorial, Quentin Merkel.
Take a look at the trailer below to get an idea of what to expect.
Don Mattingly's Home Run in the 1995 American League Divisional Series
One of the moments of Don's career the documentary will focus on will be his massive home run in game two of the 1995 American League Divisional Series against the Seattle Mariners that gave the Yankees the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning. Mattingly's teammate, Ruben Sierra, had just tied the game with a home run of his own before Don stepped up to the plate and sent one into the right-field stands.
Fun Fact: The pitcher who gave up the back-to-back homers was Andy Benes who is also an Evansville native and graduated from Central High School
What is Don Mattingly Doing Now?
After working as the Yankees hitting coach in the early 2000s, Don served as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2011 to 2015. He took over as manager of the Miami Marlins in 2015 and was named National League Manager of the Year in 2020.
The Marlins will begin the 2022 season on the road to face the San Francisco Giants.
[Source: MLB Network]