While in high school, Don played baseball, basketball, and football. His older brother Randy played pro football. He was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 19th round of the June 1979 free-agent draft. He was drafted late because most scouts thought he would pass up the opportunity and attend college instead. (And also because many scouts thought his lack of speed would keep him out of the majors. . .how wrong were they!)
On August 12, 1987, he opened the restaurant "Mattingly's 23" in Evansville, Indiana. He and his wife donated $100 for each home run the Yankees hit to singer Paul Simon's project to purchase mobile medical units providing medical service to the underprivileged children in New York City. He served on the advisory board to the Children's Health Fund of New York during his time in New York. He
and Kim are also involved with the greater New York chapter of the National Foundation of Ileitis and Colitis and the Evansville Easter Seals Society. He is also involved with the Westchester County's Special Olympics and the Westchester Association for Retarded Citizens.
In 1992, Don did a voice-over on an episode of the cartoon series "The Simpsons." In this episode, entitled "Homer at Bat," Don parodied the haircut that he was forced to get during the 1991 season.
In 1993 he received the Joan Payson Humanitarian Services Award for community service from the New York chapter of the Baseball Writers of America Association (BBWAA). In 1996, Don and his wife opened the Diamond Five Farms in Evansville, Indiana. It is at this horse ranch where Don now spends most of his time. Also in 1996, Don signed an agreement with Digicom Consulting creating an Internet World Wide Web (WWW) site entitled "The Official Don Mattingly Site."
On June 15, 1996 Don conducted a live interview kicking off "The Don Mattingly Pro-Celebrity Auction" of almost 60 sports related items with the proceeds benefitting several children's organizations. On a sadder note that same evening, Mattingly's 23 restaurant was closed down after nine years.
In late November/early December Don hosted another Internet auction that benefited many children's organizations. The items for this auction came from Don's former restaurant.
After sitting out the entire 1996 baseball season, Don made his retirement from the game official in a 3:00 PM EST new conference on January 22, 1997. A sad day indeed!
Days later, he was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by Bernie Williams for his work with the Children's Health Fund. On April 11, 1997, the New York Yankees opened their home season with a game against the Oakland Athletics. Don was there to help manager Joe Torre and New York Mayor, Rudy Giuliani, raise the Yankees' 23rd World Championship flag! He returned to the Stadium on August 31, where he was honored with having his uniform number 23 retired and his plaque erected in Monument Park!
This Page Was Designed By Joseph Riccitelli, Jr. on December 16, 1996.
I Last Made Changes On: Wed January 17, 2007