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THE SIDELINES : Firm Amends Mattingly Suit

From Times Wire Services

Don Mattingly no longer is being asked to pay damages from a breach of contract suit filed against him by the makers of Louisville Slugger baseball bats.

Hillerich & Bradsby Co., however, is asking the court to recognize the validity of its contract with the New York Yankees’ first baseman, which he signed in 1980 as a minor leaguer.

James Milliman, an H&B; attorney, said the damage claims were dropped against Mattingly because the company decided that the alleged breach of contract was not necessarily the player’s fault.

Instead, H&B; filed an amended complaint Wednesday against Franklin Sports Industries of Stoughton, Mass., asking the court to declare Franklin’s use of Mattingly’s and Kansas City’s Bo Jackson’s names unlawful. H&B; claims that Franklin Sports induced Mattingly and Jackson to violate their contracts with H&B.;

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The suit revolves around tee ball sets made by Franklin and endorsed by Mattingly and Jackson, and a youth league bat endorsed by Mattingly. Advertisements for the items carry the players’ pictures and autographs. The H&B; suit claims that the endorsements are in violation of the contracts signed by the players.


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