NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Don Mattingly is eagerly looking forward to his first visit in uniform to the Bronx since 2007.
The former Yankees star and current Dodgers manager will be back Tuesday night when Los Angeles opens a two-game interleague series at New York.
The Dodgers have not played in the Bronx since clinching the 1981 World Series at the old Yankee Stadium.
Mattingly left the Yankees as their bench coach after the 2007 season when he was bypassed in favor of Joe Girardi as a replacement for manager Joe Torre.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Mattingly said Sunday after the Dodgers lost 6-3 to Pittsburgh. “It will be fun to see a lot of people again. I have nothing but good memories of New York and being a Yankee. I’m proud of everything we did there.”
“I think it’ll be great,” said Girardi. “Donnie is one of the greatest Yankees that’s ever played. He’s one of the greatest teammates that has ever put on that uniform. I know I’ve always loved him and appreciated what he’s done, and I know the fans have seen a lot more than I have. I think it’ll be a great day for him.”
Mattingly followed Torre to the Dodgers and spent three years on the coaching staff before becoming manager prior to the 2011 season. He was on the Yankees’ coaching staff for four years.
“They treated me fairly I thought,” Mattingly said of the Yankees. “Things work out for a reason. That would have been really bad timing for me. Terrible. I was going through some personal stuff that would have been miserable trying to manage for the first time and have that going on. So, that was a blessing in disguise.”
The Yankees retired Mattingly’s No. 23 after he played 14 seasons for them as a first baseman. He was the American League MVP in 1985, won nine Gold Gloves and three Silver Slugger awards, and was selected to six All-Star Games.
Mattingly has made one visit to the new Yankee Stadium. That came in 2010 for the unveiling of a plaque that commemorated late owner George Steinbrenner.
“I know Mr. Steinbrenner wanted me to manage,” Mattingly said. “He thought I would be a good manager. But I had no guarantees of anything.”
Mattingly said he has no ill feelings about the Yankees skipping over him as manager.
“Not one bit,” Mattingly said. “Everything worked out for the best. I love being the manager of the Dodgers and am proud to work for another great organization.”
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