DON'S SPEECH (08/31/97)



"I Don't Know What I Did To Deserve This"

Those were the words Don Mattingly said during his heartfelt and tearful speech on Don Mattingly Day. He may not know what he did to deserve the adulation that was bestowed upon him that warm Sunday afternoon on the 31st of August, but everyone in attendance did. They were all here to say ďthank youĒ to a man who gave them pleasure in parts of 14 seasons as a New York Yankee. He was the reason why us Yankee fans never gave up, even during the lean years of the early nineties. He truly is a 'Yankee Legend Forever!'

What follows is a complete transcript of Don Mattinglyís speech that day:


(INTRODUCTION BY YANKEES' ANNOUNCER, MICHAEL KAY)


(APPLAUSE)

Thank you.

(APPLAUSE AND CHANTS OF ĎDONNIE BASEBALLí)

Thank you all. I donít know if Iím going to be able to express myself very well here today. And thereís lots of people that I want to thank and Iíll start off with the Lord, our God. He has blessed our family. . .I donít know why. . .but thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

Iíd also like to thank Mr. Steinbrenner, and the entire Yankee organization.

(APPLAUSE AND SOME ĎBOOSí FOR MR. STEINBRENNER)

The respect that Mr. Steinbrenner and the whole organization has showed me the past two years has been very much appreciated.

(APPLAUSE)

I would also like to thank the sponsors, itís hard to explain all this to. . .but, thanks!

(APPLAUSE)

None of this would be possible without unbelievable teammates over the years, coaches and managers. . .to all of them Iím thankful. Theyíve been great teachers for me. I hope Iíve left something for them.

(APPLAUSE)

Mom and Dad, thank you. Youíve always been there for us, for all our kids. Thanks.

(APPLAUSE)

Iíd also like to thank Kimís mother and father. Theyíve been just like parents to me. Theyíre always there for us. Thanks again.

(APPLAUSE)

Thereís also a lot of people I know that have traveled from home, family and friends, and I appreciate them making the effort to get here.

(APPLAUSE)

Kim, you have been the rock that holds me up all these years. Kim doesnít get the attention or respect that she deserves for raising these boys. She does a great job, sheís helped me out, sheís pushed me in times when Iíve been down or things have been going wrong. Baby youíll understand, but your appreciation for what you did for me is. . .I love you!

(APPLAUSE)

And to the fans of New York City...

(APPLAUSE)

And for Yankee fans all over this country. Again, I donít know what I did to deserve this.

(APPLAUSE)

But your treatment of me over the years has been phenomenal and I will never forget the support and love Iíve taken home from so many of you. Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

And that plaque in centerfield means more to me than youíll ever know. Iím so proud to have been able to play my entire career, and be just a small part, of this great organization.

(APPLAUSE)

Youíve treated Kim, the boys and myself like family since we arrived here in 1982. And I didnít think Iíd ever be able to say this coming from a small town in Indiana, not that small, but when we come to New York we feel like itís home.

(APPLAUSE)

Iíve tried to give you all a hundred percent of myself everytime I walked out on the field. I try to keep it pure, I try to keep it simple, and just play great baseball for you over the years. I hope you appreciated it.

(APPLAUSE)

And today as you leave, Iíd like to leave three thoughts that I took on the field with me. Before every game I would say these statements, and a special man taught these in high school. Very simple: ĎIím in Godís hands, God be with me then who can be against me and I can do all things through God who helps me.í I love you all. . .God bless you all. Thank you for everything youíve ever did for us. Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)




(TINA TURNERíS ďSIMPLY THE BESTĒ IS BROADCAST THROUGH THE STADIUMíS SPEAKERS AS DON WALKS OFF THE FIELD AND INTO THE DUGOUT.)




This version differs slightly from the one that was available at Don's Official Site. That version is exactly how it was written, but this is how it was delivered. Mine was transcribed by me directly from a VHS copy of the game, which I taped because I attended. I think this one, which also includes all the applause breaks, portrays the emotions and feelings that were felt during those special 7 and 1/2 minutes!



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This Page Was Designed By Joseph Riccitelli, Jr. on October 8, 1997.
I Last Made Changes On: Thurs December 4, 2003.

Copyright 1997-2003, Joseph Riccitelli, Jr.