Mattingly Quietly Hits Milestone (Baseball Weekly 7/27/94)

     It should have come at Yankee Stadium, a ringing double to the
  right-center field gap. In better times, it might have been a
  game-winning homer or a drive to the base of the wall.
     Instead, the 2,000th hit of Don Mattingly's career came July 23
  at Anaheim Stadium, long after most Yankee fans back East had gone
  to sleep. Mattingly's milestone hit came in the seventh inning
  against Angels pitcher Russ Springer, a multiple hopper that
  bounced past the pitcher's mound, over second base and on into
  center field.
     But, after it was over, the Yankee captain made it all but
  clear, as he had earlier in the week, that there would be no No.
     "I'd like to shoot for 3,000 but, very honestly, I don't think
  I'm going to make it," he said. "I don't think I'm going to play
  that long. It seems like I have to battle more and more just to be
  average, to tell you the truth. And that's tough to do.
     "It hasn't been as enjoyable for me, playing, because I've had
  to do more and more work off the field to stay healthy and just be
  average. It's reality.
     "I don't feel bad about it because that's the way it is. And I
  really don't want to complain about it or talk about it too much
  because I really don't think people want to hear it. I'm still
  playing major league baseball and there's nothing wrong with that.
  I'm having a good time, but in terms of 3,000 I don't think I'm
  going to make it."
     That hit made the Yankees first baseman the 197th player in
  baseball history to reach 2,000 hits and the sixth to get those
  hits as a Yankee. The others - Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio,
  Yogi Berra and Mickey Mantle - are all in the Hall of Fame.
     "That's some pretty good company," Mattingly said. "I shouldn't
  say `pretty good,' it's real good."
     Mattingly's 2,000th hit ended a week in which the first baseman
  lost his coveted No. 3 spot in the Yankees batting order. With
  Mattingly bothered by a sore right wrist that had put him on the
  disabled list just before the All-Star break, Showalter moved
  Mattingly out and put Paul O'Neill in. At the time, O'Neill was
  leading the league in hitting.
     "If I was the manager I would have done it sooner, maybe a month
  ago," said Mattingly. "It doesn't bother me. I think it's the right
  thing. It would be difficult for me to take if it wasn't the best
  thing for the ballclub."
     When he batted fifth July 20 in Oakland, it marked the first
  time Mattingly started a game at anywhere but the third spot in the
  Yankee order since Aug. 11, 1992.

Copyright 1994, USA TODAY BASEBALL WEEKLY, a division of Gannett Co., Inc.

Mattingly quietly hits milestone., BASEBALL WEEKLY, 07-27-1994, pp 11.

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