I Unexpectedly Had Dinner with an Indiana Baseball Legend in New York City
I was a recently a guest on the true crime podcast A Couple of Sassholes. On my episode, Brooklyn and Heather asked me what my "death row" meal would be. Without any hesitation, I answered, "A pizza from John's on Bleecker Street in New York City. That's, hands down, my favorite pizza place in the world."
Well, a couple of weeks ago, I was in New York City and Kevin and I, like we do every March when we visit New York to celebrate our anniversary, popped into John's to eat.
If you're not familiar, John's on Bleecker Street is a popular hangout in the West Village and is known for their pizza and the ambience, which comes complete with booths that have the names of customers carved into them.
John's on Bleecker Street is also known for the endless photos of celebrities who have eaten there.
Well, one of those particular celebrities on the wall is from Evansville, Indiana and he happened to be hanging out our booth with us while we were eating!
Now, it's cool enough that THE Mickey Mantle autographed this photo and gave it to John's on Bleecker, but it's even cooler than the guy in the photo with him is baseball legend Don Mattingly!
If you're unfamiliar with Don's storied Major League Baseball career, it all started way back in the late 70s when he played high school ball at Reitz Memorial High, where led the 1978 team to a state title and the '79 team to the championship game.
Don was then selected by the New York Yankees in the 1979 amateur draft. Mattingly spent four seasons playing in the minors before making his debut with the Yankees in 1982, where he eventually became the team's first baseman.
He was a 6-time American League All-Star, won nine Golden Glove Awards, the 1984 American League batting title and the American League's 1985 Most Valuable Player Award.
Mattingly, of course, went on to captain the New York Yankees from 1991 to 1995, the year he retired.
Though he retired from playing, his Major League career continued. He moved onto management and worked for the Yankees in that capacity from 2004 to 2007. He followed that up with a long stint with the Los Angeles Dodgers, which lasted through 2015. He then spent six seasons with the Miami Marlins and was most recently added to the management team for the Toronto Blue Jays. That announcement was made in late 2022 in advance of the 2023 season, which is just around the corner.
And, speaking of being just around the corner, you'll find Don there too. If you visit John's on Bleecker Street in New York City, you can dine with him in the first booth, just around the corner from the main dining room.