Mike Matheny was named the 49th manager in St. Louis Cardinals franchise history on Nov. 14, 2011. Matheny, 43, is in his third season as a manager at the professional level. He served as a Special Assistant in Player Development for the Cardinals prior to his being named manager. Matheny agreed to a three-year contract extension on Nov. 20, 2013, which keeps the Redbirds manager under contract through the 2017 season.
In just two seasons as manager of the Cardinals, Matheny has led his team to the playoffs both seasons, winning a Wild Card spot in 2012 and winning the Central Division in 2013. He has already managed 30 playoff games, as the team fell one win short of making it to the World Series in 2012 and faced Boston in the 2013 World Series, finishing just two wins shy of the Championship.
When Matheny took his team to the World Series last season in his second year, he became the first manager in Cardinals history to pilot the Redbirds to the postseason in each of his first two full seasons, and the eighth manager in MLB history to do so. Using a roster that combined veterans and young talent, he guided the team to its 19th National League title and a World Series meeting with the Boston Red Sox, who they matched with an MLB-best 97 wins during the regular season.
In his first year at the helm in 2012, Matheny guided the Cardinals to the National League Championship round of the playoffs, having captured a Wild Card berth on the next-to-last day of the regular season. Mike became the first rookie manager to lead the Cardinals to the postseason since Eddie Dyer led the Redbirds to a World Championship win over Boston in 1946. When he was named to the post at age 41, Matheny became the youngest active manager in the majors and the youngest Cardinals manager since Jack Krol, who was also 41 when he managed the team in 1978. Matheny joined notables such as Red Schoendienst, Joe Torre, Ken Boyer, Frank Frisch and Rogers Hornsby amongst Cardinals players who later served as the team's manager.
A veteran of 13 seasons in the majors, Matheny was drafted out of the University of Michigan by the Milwaukee Brewers in the eighth round of the 1991 draft. He made his Major League debut with the Brewers in 1994 and spent five seasons (1994-98) with Milwaukee before signing a free-agent contract with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1999. Following his release by the Blue Jays, Matheny signed a free-agent contract with the Cardinals on Dec. 16, 1999 and went on to spend five seasons with the Cardinals from 2000-04, earning trips to the postseason in four of those five seasons, including a National League Championship in 2004. As a Cardinal, Matheny appeared in 611 games at catcher, logging 4,938.1 innings while committing just 14 errors.
The four-time (2000, 2003-05) Rawlings Gold Glove recipient holds the Major League catching record for consecutive errorless games (252) and for consecutive errorless chances (1,565). He posted a lifetime batting mark of .239 with 67 home runs and 443 RBI in 1,305 games played in a career that was cut short due to complications from repeated concussions. Matheny signed with San Francisco as a free-agent prior to the 2005 season and he spent two seasons with the Giants before playing his final game on May 31, 2006. In his first season with the Giants, Matheny set the team record for fielding pct. (.9988) by a catcher, came within two of the team mark (36) for doubles by a catcher and was voted by his teammates as the recipient of the "Willie Mac Award" for being the most inspirational player on the team.
In 2002, Matheny served as an inspirational leader for the Cardinals, helping the team to cope with the shocking death of pitcher Darryl Kile while still reaching the National League Championship Series. Matheny was voted by his teammates as the first recipient of the "Darryl Kile Award" in 2003 -- an award that goes annually to the Cardinals player who best demonstrates the qualities that Darryl brought to the clubhouse every day; those of a good teammate, a great friend, a fine father and a humble man.
Matheny has been a tireless worker in the community, organizing and creating the "Catch-22" charity that donated tickets to Cardinals fans from 2002-04. In 2005, his group saw the opening of the "Catch 22 Miracle Field" at Chesterfield Valley Athletic Complex. The $650,000 project was designed and constructed to allow children of all abilities to experience the thrill of playing baseball, and is specially designed to accommodate athletes with physical and mental disabilities. Funding for the field project was provided by "Catch 22 Foundation", which Mike created.
Matheny (pronounced muh-THEE-nee) was born on Sept. 22, 1970 in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, and graduated from Reynoldsburg High School in 1988, where he was a team captain for both the baseball and football teams. He was a member of the Connie Mack National Championship team in 1989 and attended the University of Michigan, where he was co-captain of the Wolverines' baseball team. Mike's wife, Kristin, was also a varsity athlete at Michigan, playing field hockey. The couple reside in St. Louis with their five children: daughter Katie (19) and four sons, Tate (20), Luke (17), Jacob (16) and Blaise (13). His son, Tate, plays baseball at Missouri State University in Springfield, Mo., and was drafted in the 23rd round of the June 2012 draft by St. Louis, but did not sign. His daughter, Katie, plays women's ice hockey at Ohio State University.