Don Mattingly on Hall of Fame Ballot for 15th and Final Time


Dodger Manager Don Mattingly is on the Hall of Fame ballot for the 15th and final time. Mattingly won’t be elected to the Hall of Fame, but his career was still full of many highlights to be proud of. Unfortunately the former first baseman was riddled with back problems which hindered the latter part of his career.

Even Mattingly himself admits that he shouldn’t be inducted into the Hall of Fame based on the length of success in his career.

"“I don’t think I’m a Hall of Famer,” Mattingly has said. “I don’t think I have the numbers. Part of it is longevity, and I wasn’t able to do that and do the things that I did early in my career. The Hall of Fame would be a great honor, but I don’t live my life based on whether or not that will ever happen. So in the grand scheme of things, it’s not that important.”"

Even though Mattingly will be removed from the Hall of Fame ballot after this year, it doesn’t mean that his career wasn’t full of amazing accolades that deserve recognition. I even made an argument two years ago that he should be inducted bases on his record-breaking statistics pre-back rustiness.

The six-time All-star for the Yankees won the M.V.P. Award in 1985 , the American League batting title in 1984, nine Gold Glove Awards, three Silver Slugger Awards and a plethora of hitting titles including slugging percentage (.573 in 1986), OPS (.967 in 1986), total-base hits in 1984 and 1986, doubles (1984-1986), extra-base hits and RBIs (1985). Those accomplishments are pretty incredible considering they were all garnered mostly between 1984-1989.

Whether you love him or hate him as a manager, Donnie Baseball will be back to manage the Dodgers for his fifth season at the helm. His love of bunting and the double switch (affectionately dubbed the DonnieSwitch™ by me) has been well documented. Although bunting was interestingly used much less by Mattingly in 2014 than years prior.

Don Mattingly will begin his fifth season as Dodger manager in 2015. Photo: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Friedman is standing beside Mattingly as manager for now at least. While most of the Ned Colletti/Frank McCourt era contracts and decisions have been erased and rewritten by the new front office regime, Mattingly remains.

There are many worthy candidates on the Hall of Fame Ballot this year. You can read my about my views on the subject of PEDs in the MLB, and I continue to be torn on the subject but can see both sides as having reasonable arguments. Even though I had once said that I wouldn’t vote for Barry Bonds for the Hall of Fame, I recently have somewhat wavered on my position. You can see my IBWAA ballot below which includes Bonds.

Don Mattingly was an exceptional player when he was healthy, but now the attention turns to his managerial career. Hall of Fame inductions are very prestigious, but I bet Donnie has his eye on a different prize now in his career. Winning the World Series in Los Angeles as manager would be the ultimate honor for Donnie Baseball.

My IBWAA Ballot:

Jeff Bagwell

Barry Bonds

Roger Clemens

Randy Johnson

Barry Larkin

Edgar Martinez

Pedro Martinez

Mike Mussina

Tim Raines

Curt Schilling

John Smoltz

Alan Trammell

Larry Walker

*Mike Piazza and Craig Biggio were elected by the IBWAA in 2013 and 2014 respectively.