Davis, Mattingly Produce Big Numbers. (Los Angeles Times 7/24/94)


    ANAHEIM--There were two milestones reached by two elegant players Saturday
night at Anaheim Stadium, each one remarkable, each one almost
inevitable.

Chili Davis recorded his 1,000th run batted in when he homered in the eighth inning, a feat that enlivened another dreary night for the Angels.

Don Mattingly singled to center field in the seventh inning for his 2,000th career hit. There figure to be many more hits for Mattingly, and many more victories for the first-place New York Yankees, who terrorized Angel pitching for the third consecutive game.

Davis and Mattingly each received standing ovations from the Anaheim Stadium crowd of 29,354.

Davis had rounded the bases and was in the dugout when the announcement was made to the crowd. And with his team down, 7-2, there didn't seem much reason to celebrate, so, he stayed on the bench.

When Mattingly's single reached safe haven in center field, many in the crowd jumped to their feet to cheer. The crescendo grew. The ball was thrown in and secured by a Yankee bat boy. Finally, Mattingly tipped his helmet to the crowd. The noise continued.

Davis became the 177th major league player, joining Mattingly among others, to have 1,000 RBIs.

"Any kind of achievement like that just means you've stayed around and been productive," said Davis, whose first RBI came on a solo homer off Mario Soto in 1982.

Mattingly is the 197th player to record 2,000 hits and the sixth Yankee, joining Hall of Famers Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio and Yogi Berra.

"You know, 2,000 hits is not a place to stop for me," Mattingly said. "Being thrown into that category is pretty special."

But then he said he wasn't sure he'd reach the 3,000-hit plateau. The grind of staying healthy and productive is getting tougher.

"Honestly, I don't think I'll make it," he said. "I don't think I'll play that long. I have had to do more and more work just to stay competitive. I'm still playing major league baseball, still having a good time. But in reference to 3,000 hits, I don't think I'll make it."

Davis wasn't sure he'd reach the 1,000-RBI mark this season. After all, he began the year needing 70, a pretty fair total for one season.

But Davis, 34, has put together one of the finest years of his career. The Angels keep losing, but he keeps hitting.

Saturday's homer off Yankee reliever Joe Ausanio was his 21st this season. Davis hit 27 homers with 112 RBIs in 153 games in 1993.

"It's a good night to reach that milestone," Davis said. "A guy I respect, a great guy.. . . It was nice to get mine on the same night (Mattingly) got his."

Mattingly said he was pleased he reached his milestone with Rod Carew, Angel hitting coach, in attendance.

"It was great to look over in the other dugout and see Rod Carew," Mattingly said. "I wanted to be just like Carew when I was a kid. I used to imitate him and his stance when I was in high school. I wanted to slap the ball to right field just like him."

Later, Mattingly was asked what meant more, 1,000 RBIs or 2,000 hits. He couldn't pick one or the other, more amazed that others thought so much of each accomplishment.

"It was a very good feeling," he said. "One of those round numbers people like to talk about."

Copyright, The Times Mirror Company; Los Angeles Times, 1994.

TEAFORD, ELLIOTT, Davis, Mattingly Produce Big Numbers; Milestones: Angels' DH collects 1,000th career RBI and Yankees' first baseman connects for 2,000th career hit.; Orange County Edition., Los Angeles Times, 07-24-1994, pp C-9.




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