Love or hate the Yankees, Don Mattingly should be in the HoF. Much like the courts site case law to make rulings as opposed to following the constitution, I will site a case to get "Donny Baseball" elected. Perhaps he doesn't have HoF credentials, maybe he does. I am going to compare The Captain's career to that of a first ballot HoF'er from the same era.
Don Mattingly VS Kirby Puckett:
G AB R HR RBI AVG OBP SLG SO TB
Mattingly 1785 7003 1007 222 1099 307 358 471 444 3301
Puckett 1783 7244 1071 207 1085 318 360 477 965 3453
Mattingly 162 g AVG 162 636 91 20 100 307 358 471 40 300
Puckett 162 g AVG 162 658 97 19 99 318 360 477 88 314
That's about as identical as it gets, huh?
So what sets Kirby apart as a first ballot HoF'er, while Mattingly has little hope of getting in?
lets compare accomplishments
Kirby Puckett: won 2 titles, Rookie of the Year, 6 gold gloves, 6 silver sluggers. MVP runner up once, second runner up twice.
lead league in hits 4 times, RBIs once and won 1 batting title.
Mattingly: 9 gold gloves, 3 silver sluggers. MVP once, runner up once. Lead league in hits 2 times, doubles 3 times, RBIs once.
and won 1 batting title.
In conclusion, both players are accomplished. While Puckett won 2 titles, Mattingly did win the MVP and was the Captian of the Yankees. Which is not to be overstated as it is the Hall of FAME, not the hall of "sorry you died young dude." No disrespect to Kirby. He was a great player and person. I just want to shed light on the fact that Mr. Mattingly is getting hosed. I hope this shows sufficiently that Donny Baseball deserves proper recognition for his contributions on the field.