Superstar Donnie Baseball a.k.a Don Mattingly visited with chemo patients yesterday at OHA and the Chancellor Center. Mattingly spent time with every patient and made everyone’s day just a little brighter! THANKS DON!
For the entire photo gallery, go to http://s1079.photobucket.com/user/JohnnyKincaid/library/?sort=3&page=1
After spending the entire morning with Don and listening to his stories, I compiled this list of random things that I didn’t know about our hometown hero…
RANDOM things I learned about Don Mattingly yesterday…
*He had a TRUE Midwest upbringing and it defines who he is today. He told many stories of growing up with his brothers – playing in fields, brotherly hijinx, playing all sports together, eating rabbit at his grandpa’s and thinking it was chicken, and so on. He really is just a good ol boy.
*He calls Evansville home and lives here when he isn’t working. When he is working, he lives on the beach near LA. (He does not live in that house on Darmstadt road anymore… many people asked about that)
*He is re-married to a local girl and seems very content. She loves to cook every day and so I asked him if it is true that a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach? He smiled and said, “That didn’t hurt, but she is also very good looking.” LOL
*As a stepdad with younger kids, he supports them by attending all their games, swim meets and programs.
*HE LOVES HIS KIDS MORE THAN BASEBALL. Several people asked why he left baseball completely for awhile. The answer was that his boys needed their daddy and that came first. He quit the Yankees and came home for his sons because they needed him. Once they were older, he went back to the Yankees, (in management) and is currently manager of the LA Dodgers.
*During his hiatus, he ran his own farm and raised horses. “I had to learn how to fix things on my own, and it was alot of hard work, but I loved it. You never have a day when you wake up and wonder what you are going to do that day because there are always things to do on the farm. You just learn to pace yourself each day because the jobs on a farm are never finished.”
*He loved living in Manhattan. “Everything you could ever need was in walking distance within a two block radius and it was so easy. You don’t need a car because if you want to go somewhere else you just take a cab. Now I live by the airport and nothing is close by.”
*He has a sister, Judy, who owns Turoni’s Pizza.
*He has an amazing memory… as people recounted different stories of his young athlete days in different sports, he remembered players and coaches from all over the Tri-State. (BTW, he loved playing basketball the best, but apparently, did not have the talent to go pro.)
*He hates “stuff” and “clutter,” and has purposefully simplified his home and life. “I don’t need stuff anymore to make me happy.”
*Born in 1961, he is 52 years old.
*He explained his philosophy as a manager is to create a positive work environment and respect the players. First you create a great place to work and then you let the talent take you the rest of the way. He loves working for Magic Johnson because he is a former athlete that understands athletes.
*How baseball is played today is determined by statistics. (remember the movie Moneyball?)
*His mother, who died from cancer, had chemo and that is one of the reasons he agreed to visit with Chemo Buddies and our patients.
*He is the kindest, most gracious, most down to earth, most genuine person I have ever met.
*As we parted yesterday he was on his way to Walmart to buy his grandson a tricycle. You know, just an everyday regular guy doing his own shopping at Walmart…