Classic card of the week

*Special Friday edition
Don Mattingly, 1991 Collectors Series

The similarities between Don Mattingly and Coca-Cola were endless, which serves to explain how a baseball card could, quite easily, confuse the two. For example, both were very red, with sideburns. Both went down extra smooth – Coca-Cola with its crisp, refreshing taste, and Mattingly with an effortless slide into home plate to win the game for the hometown ball club. Both produced much hyped, yet ill-fated experiments – Coca-Cola with “New Coke,” and Mattingly with “Kevin Mass.” Both had bad backs. The only real difference between Coca-Cola and Don Mattingly – if you can even call it a difference – was that Coca-Cola was a soda, and Don Mattingly was a person. But that’s about it. In fact, people confused the two all the time. Mattingly himself tells a great story about how he went to give teammate Roberto Kelly a high-five after a Kelly home run, and instead, Kelly turned Mattingly upside down and tried to drink him, and Mattingly was like, “Whoa, whoa, Roberto! It’s me, Donnie!” Stuff like that happened all the time. Nevertheless, the fact remains that this is one Don Mattingly baseball card extremely unique in its obvious omission of one Don Mattingly. But, as this card proves, you don’t really need to see Don Mattingly to understand him. So stop being such a doubting Thomas! Look, his name is there, you know his number was “23,” because it says so on top, you know the team he played for - the Evansville, Indiana somethings – and you know he was around during the year 1991. I mean, what else do you need to know? Do you need to know that Mattingly sold the space for his image on this card to the Coca-Cola Company for a paltry $43,000, just to earn back the money he lost in one sitting at a Casino in Atlantic City? Really, is that what you need to know? Are you calling him a “sellout?” Do you need to know that a can of Coca-Cola has won exactly as many championships as Donnie Baseball? Yeah, are you satisfied now, jerkface? Why don’t you go drink some Coca-Cola and stop asking me all these questions about Don Mattingly! He was a hero, I tell you! A hero!

Did you know?

Don Mattingly publicly accused his wife of infidelity when, in 1990, his third son – Elijah – came out looking a little too much like Pepsi.