The odd 2020 baseball season (but then isn’t everything in 2020 odd?) is coming to an end and as I write this, Game 6 of the World Series is taking place.
The Miami Marlins was a team that faced more adversity than probably any other team during the 2020 season. Little was expected of them after enduring back-to-back last-place finishes from 2018-19. Most experts expected them to stay in the cellar for 2020., However, against the odds, Manager Don Mattingly led them to the postseason despite a COVID-19 outbreak, which landed 18 players on the injured list in the first week of the season. Over the course of the 60 game season, the Marlins ended up making 174 roster moves and used a total of 61 players.
Manager Don Mattingly was rewarded by being named the National League Manager of the Year. Mattingly was an outstanding player in his 14 season with the New York Yankees; however his postseason career consisted of games in 1995.
My brush with fame and “Donnie Baseball” occurred in 1990. Mattingly was born and raised in Evansville, Indiana. Back in the 90’s he still spent time in Evansville and owned a restaurant, Mattingly’s 23. 1990 was a difficult year personally and in the fall was working a job at a bank during the day and took a second job at the Evansville Airport in the evenings and weekends. One day I had the opportunity to carry Mr. Mattingly’s bags from the luggage carousal to his car. I would have loved to have received an autograph for my effort, but alas I did not have any paper or a pen on me. He did; however, give me $10 for my trouble and at that time I could definitely put the $10 to better use than I could an autograph. The $10 is long gone, but I have a feeling that I would have kept the autograph. But at least I can say that I met “Donnie Baseball.”
He is a nice polite gentleman! Do not know him personally – but often saw him about town in Evansville!!
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