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Newswire

October 29, 1987

Don Mattingly, widely regarded as the best player in baseball, is the first to receive a perfect score in statistical rankings used to determine compensation for free-agent signings.

The New York Yankees' first baseman received a 1.000 in the Elias Sports Bureau rankings, which were established seven years ago as part of the settlement of the players' strike.

The rankings are based on performance in at least five categories in a two-year period. After being ranked by position, players are divided into five categories, according to position: outfielders; first basemen and designated hitters; second basemen, third basemen and shortstops; catchers, and starting pitchers and relievers.

Mattingly received a perfect score because he was top-ranked in every category used to evaluate first basemen--plate appearances, batting average, on-base percentage, home runs and runs-batted in.

The best, or lowest, score before this year was the 1.400 Mattingly received last year and Baltimore's Eddie Murray received in 1984.

Other top-rated AL players were Angel second basemen Johnny Ray, Boston third basemen Wade Boggs, Baltimore shortstop Cal Ripken Jr., Toronto outfielder George Bell, Toronto catcher Ernie Whitt and Texas designated hitter Larry Parrish. Boston's Roger Clemens was the highest-ranked starting pitcher, and Toronto's Mark Eichhorn was the top reliever.

In the National League, the top-rated players were New York Mets first basemen Keith Hernandez, Chicago Cubs second basemen Ryne Sandberg, Philadelphia third baseman Mike Schmidt, St. Louis shortstop Ozzie Smith, Atlanta outfielder Dale Murphy and Met catcher Gary Carter. Houston's Mike Scott was the top-rated starting pitcher, while St. Louis' Todd Worrell was the No. 1 reliever.

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