New York baseball boasted two perennial Gold Glove-winning first basemen for a lot of the Eighties. Don Mattingly and Keith Hernandez mixed to account for 20 of these awards throughout their careers, together with each of them successful in the identical 12 months 4 consecutive instances from 1985-88.
Mattingly, the previous Yankees All-Star now in his seventh season as supervisor of the Marlins, mentioned Thursday that he patterned his recreation defensively after Hernandez, who will get his No. 17 retired by the Mets on Saturday at Citi Subject.
“Keith, he performed in St. Louis, too, which was near residence [in Indiana], so I knew all about Keith early on,” Mattingly mentioned earlier than Thursday’s recreation. “Simply being right here [in New York], I used to be all the time attempting to catch his first-base play.
“Whenever you get to the massive leagues, I wished to be a very good defensive participant, and Keith was like the usual of the way you play first. Undoubtedly a man that I paid consideration to, and actually tried to see how he dealt with sure conditions. … He’s a man that I respect so much.”
Keith Hernandez and Don MattinglyAP; New York Publish
Mattingly gained 9 American League Gold Glove awards throughout his 14 seasons with the Yankees from 1982-95, whereas Hernandez was named the winner within the Nationwide League 11 consecutive instances — probably the most on the place — from 1978-88.
“The bunt play from the opposite aspect of the sphere and getting the man at third, I don’t know the way he did it,” Mattingly mentioned when requested particularly about Hernandez’s defensive prowess. “That’s a troublesome play. I feel the Nationwide League helped, he knew who was bunting. However he coated that complete aspect and got here throughout the mound and received guys at third on a regular basis. It was fairly wonderful.”
Mattingly mentioned the 2 All-Star first basemen have been “linked ever since,” they usually constructed a relationship from hanging out at varied offseason features. As soon as within the mid-80s, Mattingly recalled, they sat subsequent to Yankees legend Joe DiMaggio at a Baseball Writers Affiliation of America awards dinner.
“That was enjoyable,” Mattingly mentioned. “That evening we had been speaking to Joe, Keith is from San Francisco and Joe is from San Francisco. So Keith is attempting to carry up issues, and I’m simply form of listening. Keith is attempting to get him speaking. Keith can speak, proper? And Joe is rather like [not answering].
“Lastly Keith goes, ‘What did you want doing on the plate?’ And Joe simply form of lit up and mentioned he appreciated to get proper on high of the plate and pull every little thing. That simply sparked him to get speaking about hitting somewhat bit. That’s what I bear in mind probably the most. … Joe didn’t speak an entire lot, was fairly quiet, fairly reserved. However that was fairly fascinating. ”