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1985 AL MVP Don Mattingly Trades in Baseballs for Ballet Slippers – Performs in Evansville Ballet’s Nutcracker as Mother Ginger

Don Mattingly with Jacqueline Stoltz - Two Performers in Evansville Ballet's The Nutcracker

I’ve heard of football players dancing ballet to improve their game, but when Don Mattingly joined the ranks of the toe pointers, his role was more than that of an athlete wanting to tone. This weekend, former New York Yankees first baseman and current Los Angeles Dodgers manager, Don Mattingly put down the balls and bats for something a little more sweet – he played the part of “Mother Ginger” in Evansville Ballet’s performances of The Nutcracker.

“Mother Ginger” is the two-story character that raises her giant skirt allowing her dancing children to come out and play – one of whom was wearing a Dodgers uniform in this weekend’s performance. So, how does a sports superstar get roped into something like this? Blame it all on his wife Lori Mattingly who is an instructor with Evansville Ballet.

So you may be thinking, what does Mattingly have to say about all this? Before the show, Mattingly stated, “I’ve been around athletes my whole life. I look at all these dancers as basically athletes in a very disciplined art form. I really have enjoyed it.”

After the show, he had this to say about his performance: “Was kinda cool, kinda getting out on that limb a little bit, getting out of your comfort zone. I’d seen Mother Ginger at an Aces game a couple years, so I thought that was pretty funny. So I thought, why not.”

courtesy of Mugshots by Crystal and

Though reviews of his performance are hard to find, he has received some positive feedback, with one critique saying, “You gotta give props to Mattingly, as not many in his profession would put their pride on the line for such a production.”

See the video of the performance here:

Thanks to for allowing us to use their photo.

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