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Former Yankee Closes Namesake Restaurant

June 18, 1996 GMT

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) _ Former New York Yankee Don Mattingly has closed his signature restaurant in his hometown, laying off all employees and blaming competition from new eateries.

A spokeswoman for the sports bar and restaurant confirmed Monday that the star announced over the weekend the closing of ``Mattingly’s 23″ on the city’s east side. Mattingly wore No. 23 for the Yankees.

``People were not coming in anymore,″ said the spokeswoman, who declined to give her name. ``The decision was just made to close.″

Mattingly could not be reached immediately for comment.

Mattingly, 35, opened the restaurant in 1986, the year after he was named Most Valuable Player in the American League. It was a joint venture among himself, his wife and their families.

The restaurant was decorated with hundreds of collectors’ items that Mattingly had gathered during his career.

Mattingly has suffered back problems in recent years. He played out his contract last year and did not return to baseball, but he has not announced his formal retirement.