Wade Boggs was selected to baseball’s Hall of Fame on the 1st ballot – something that few players have done. Overlooked once again is Don Mattingly. The Yanks former 1st baseman spent his entire career in pinstripes and turned in stellar seasons year in and year out. The problem as far as the baseball writers is that he didn’t reach the magic number of 3,000 hits. Boggs had 3,010 (167 a year) hits in 18 seasons but only managed 118 homers in that time – only going over 20 one time in his entire career. Mattingly on the other hand played only 14 seasons and knotched 2,153 hits (154 a year) and slammed in 222 homeruns (nearly double Boggs in four less seasons.) Mattingly also outperformed Boggs in RBIs with 1,099 to 1,014.
So is Boggs the yardstick for whether or not Mattingly should be in the Hall? Nope, but baseball writers determined Boggs is a first ballot selection and Mattingly is OUT? Let’s look at fielding ability – Boggs was a liability in the field a .965 lifetime fielding average with 232 errors – Mattingly was gold, literally with Gold Gloves nearly every year and only 68 errors.
Gold Glove – ’85-’89, ’91-’94
American League MVP – 1985
Batting Champion – 1984
Hits Leader – 1984, 1986
RBI Leader – 1985
The baseball writers should do a little homework instead of just looking for 3,000 hits.
PS. Kirby Puckett is in the Hall with a nearly identical number of hits and less homers and Gold Gloves. (another first ballot selection)