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Donnie Baseball: The Definitive Biography of Don Mattingly Hardcover – March 1, 2011

3.1 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mike Shalin is a 35-year sports journalism veteran who has worked for the the Boston Herald and the New York Post. He is now a freelance writer and an official scorer at Fenway Park. He is the coauthor of The 100 Best Players Not in the Baseball Hall of Fame, Gilles Villemure's Tales from the Rangers Locker Room, and Out by a Step. He lives in Easton, Massachusetts. Joe Torre is the former manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Yankees, where he won four World Series.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Triumph Books (March 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600785360
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600785368
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #740,244 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mike Shalin is a veteran of 35 years in sports journalism. The 1976 graduate of Wichita State University started with the wire services in New York in the 70s, moved to the New York Post from 1980-82 and then spent 22 years at the Boston Herald, covering the Red Sox for 12 years and then Boston College football and basketball before leaving the newspaper in 2005. He is now a freelancer in the Boston area, with varied duties including work as an official scorer at Fenway Park. Shalin, a Baseball Hall of Fame voter since 1989, co-authored a book entitled "Out By A Step, The 100 Best Players Not in the Baseball Hall of Fame and is the author of the 2011 release "Donnie Baseball, The Definitive Biography of Don Mattingly (Triumph). He also co-penned Gilles Villemure's Tales From The Rangers Locker Room, as well as several books for young readers and has worked in radio and television. Shalin resides in Easton, Ma.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Let me begin by saying I'm a life long Yankees fan and Mattingly is one of my favorites. But I found this book to be very disappointing. It can be summed up as Don Mattingly was a great baseball player but is an even better person. There was nothing in it that I already didn't know. I read mostly biographies and this one was sophomoric. It was mostly quotes from former teammates, coaches, and opposing players, but the sheer volume of quotes was over the top. Better editing would have served this book well. Some quotes were repeated word for word in later chapters and a few were even repeated on succeeding pages. This book could have been (and should have been) much, much shorter. It was basically an ESPN magazine article stretched out to 200 pages. Donnie deserves better.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I too am a lifelong Yankees fan and Mattingly is one of my favorites. However, this book is little more than hero worship. I couldn't even finish this, as it was just a waste of time. Even the umpires liked him- seriously. This is 0 substance.
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Format: Hardcover
On the cover it says "the definitive biography of Don Mattingly." I would consider this book neither a biography nor definitive. Like another reviewer said, it was like a 200 page magazine article. The book has 8 chapters, all of which are pretty much just a bunch of quotes by other people strung together by a few words or sentences from the author. The 8 chapters are:

1) The Road to the Bronx: About 15 pages of quotes from high school coaches, scouts, and minor league teammates. Generic things like (these are not actually quotes from the book, I'm just summarizing) "Don was great in high school, you could tell he was going to be special." Or "Don quickly moved up from Double A" and "When Don got sent back to Triple A you knew he wasn't staying there for long."

2) Best in the Game: Just a bunch of quotes by other players, managers, and teammates about Mattingly's success from '84-'89. "Don was the best player in the game during that span," or "Don was just crushing the ball, truly unstoppable." (Do you see how I just string together my quotes above with "and" and "or". That's pretty much how the author wrote this book.)

3) Foundation of a Dynasty: About 12 pages of quotes from Jeter, Posada, Mariano Rivera, and Andy Pettitte about how much of an effect Donny had on them in '95.

4) Universal Respect: About 40 pages of quotes from other players and managers about how great a guy Don Mattingly is and how much they respect him.

5) End of an Era: About 30 pages of quotes from guys on that '95 team and how well Mattingly played during the final stretch of the season and how they all wanted to win it for him and about the Seattle playoff series.
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Format: Hardcover
Very superficial, once-over lightly book. Any reasonably well-informed Yankee fan could have written a better book than this. Don Mattingly was a great player and deserves a great biography. This book definitely does not qualify.
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Format: Hardcover
Ouch! The reviews on this book are probably on target in as much they point out bad writing. I also noticed how many times things were repeated. Having published four books, I can testify that often authors strive to make a book longer and that is what happened in this book. The repeated material was at times too hard to take. The book did describe Mattingly as a nice person, but that was over done and I felt embarrassed for him. He deserves a better book about his career. Since both "Donnie Baseball" and I are from Indiana, I was fascinated to learn about his growing up years in Evansville, IN. I also think he should be in the hall of fame as he was a great player. All in all I enjoyed being filled in about his career, but the book seemed to be put together too fast and material not well organized and repeated to the dismay of the reader. Norman Jones, Ed.D. author of Growing Up in Indiana: The Culture & Hoosier Hysteria Revisited and Main St. vs. Wall St.:Wake-up Calls for America's Leaders.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is just plain terrible. Example: Page 130, Tino martinez says he knew what he was getting into (taking over for Mattingly); ewverybody loves him. Page 131: THE EXACT SAME QUOTE! This is not the first item repeated, but when it is a qouote rather than an observation, it is worth noting. The quote may have been broken at a different place and attributesd to another source, but it is an identical quote - it is even at the same spot on the page. It would have been wonderful if the author and the editor gave even 1/10th of the effort with which they credit Donnie baseball - other than the repitition part of the routine.
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Format: Kindle Edition
The author lacked depth in childhood development of Don M. and then rehashed over and over again his great career in the big leagues and his back problems. I personally believe that Don M. should be in the Hall of Fame but how many ways can you say it without losing you readers and turning them off. He should have compared more present members of the Hall of Fame with Numbers put up by "Donnie Baseball", my favorite NY Yankee along with Derek Jeter as both are quality players and gentlemen to boot.
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