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What They Said At the Time… Bruce Weber’s Inside Baseball 1987

Here is another small baseball preview paperback. This series, the Inside Baseball series, was written more for a younger audience, but it’s still fun to see what the experts were saying about the teams and individual players.

This paperback, published through Scholastic, Inc., previewed the season (they predicted that the Yankees would finish in second place, but the Yankees actually finished in fourth place that year) and listed an All-Pro Team for each league. Don Mattingly was the first baseman on this author’s All-Pro team.

Let’s see what Bruce Weber’s Inside Baseball 1987 said about Don Mattingly:

He’s only 25 years old, going on 26 in late April. He’s been a major-leaguer for just four seasons. He didn’t even win the AL’s MVP Award despite incredible numbers in ‘86. yet there probably isn’t a manager around who wouldn’t make Donald Arthur Mattingly his first choice if he were starting a new yeam.

The man from Indiana does it all for New York (the Bronx, at least). The 6-0, 175-pounder, who was born and raised in Evansville, IN, owns a nearly perfect swing. He combines great natural talent with an amazing capacity to work. He’s good at hitting because he works hard at it. And his defense is right there with his Met rival. Keith Hernandez, the standard by which first sackers are measured.

(n 1985 Don led the AL in RBIs, doubles, and sacrifice flies. he was among the leaders in a bunch of other categories. In ‘86 he was even better. He his .352 (second to Wade Boggs’s .357), led in doubles (53, topping Lou Gehrig’s all-time Yankee mark), led in hits (238, topping Earle Combs’s all-time Yankee mark), knocked in 113 runs, smacked 31 homers, led the league in slugging (.573), and more. Our choice for MVP? Sorry, Roger. It’s Don.

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