The Early Years
Mike Matheny played for four different teams during his thirteen years in the major leagues. Drafted out of the University of Michigan, (where he later earned his degree in Sports Management and Communications with a concentration in Spanish.) Matheny played for the Milwaukee Brewers from 1994 to 1998, the Toronto Blue Jays in 1999, and the St. Louis Cardinals from 2000 to 2004. While playing for the Cardinals, Matheny won three Gold Glove Awards (2000, 2003, 2004) and went to the postseason in four of his five years with the team. Signed by the San Francisco Giants to a three-year contract, Matheny won a Gold Glove Award in his first season for the Giants in 2005, while winning the prestigious Willie Mac award for his leadership and character. The only first year Giant in their rich history to win the award.
The Tough Veteran
Considered one of the great defensive players in the Major Leagues over the last several years of his career, he was one of only three other catchers to play 100 games without a single error. His nickname, used by fans and broadcasters alike, was “The Toughest Man Alive,” after taking a 96mph fastball in the face and he played the next day.
The End of Catching
Mike Matheny’s career ended after a series of concussions that would not allow him to return. His style of hard-nosed play, that earned him the respect of his teammates, was ultimately the reason that his baseball career ended. Matheny took his first steps in retirement by speaking to audiences about the dangers of head injuries and helping to develop uniform base line testing that is used in all professional organizations today.
Manager of the St. Louis Cardinals
Matheny returned to the St. Louis Cardinals organization as rookie manager after the team won the 2011 World Series under Tony LaRussa. Mike was greeted with an incredible first season as a manager, taking the young team under his new leadership all the way to the brink of the 2012 World Series.
The Matheny Manifesto
Mike was asked to coach a youth baseball team and wrote a series of conditions he demanded before agreeing to be with the team. The document was quickly shared virally across the country, at the youth level, high school, college and beyond….and became known as the “Matheny Manifesto.”
It is about respect, ownership, self motivation and no-nonsense sportsmanship, that all go into the definition of CHARACTER displayed on a playing field. Mike wants to share it to help players, parents and coaches know how best to work together.
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The Book: The Matheny Manifesto
Mike Matheny was just 41 and without professional managerial experience when he succeeded the legendary Tony LaRussa as skipper of the St. Louis Cardinals in 2012. While he has enjoyed immediate success, leading the Cards to the postseason three times in his first three years, people have noticed something else in Matheny's life, and unlike baseball, it’s not measured in day-to-day results. It's based on a frankly worded letter he wrote to the parents of a little league team he coached, a letter that became an internet sensation and eventually a “manifesto.”
May 1, 2014READ MORE >I recently had a conversation with two basketball officials, one who refs college games and the other junior high and high school games. I was amazed at how similar their experiences are to the baseball world. They find some coaches teach their student athletes the game, trying to impact their lives by doing the right thing. But they also have nightmare stories of coaches desperately missing the mark.
Apr 23, 2014READ MORE >The conversation with Jim that stands out the most to me was when I called him in the middle of a season when his team seemed to be caught up in a lot of drama. There were fights in the clubhouse and controversy in the media, and the talk was about everything but baseball. I asked Jim how he never seemed to be in the middle of it, despite his leadership position on the team.
Apr 14, 2014READ MORE >I have heard it said that it is no coincidence that God apportioned us two ears and just one mouth. As I watch some of our young players interact with the veteran guys, it is amazing and amusing to watch how it plays out.
Apr 7, 2014READ MORE >Every year I’m asked why our home opener is so revered......
Mar 31, 2014READ MORE >As we wrap up spring training, I have to look back and review the things that went well, as well as the things we could have done better.
Mike in the Community
The Catch22 Foundation
Ten years of making a difference in the lives of disadvantaged kids in the St. Louis area.
The Catch 22 Foundation is a non-profit that Mike and his wife, Kristin started in 2003. The primary goal for this charity was to simply give back.
The first goal was to build a handicapped accessible baseball field, which was completed in 2005 and currently has over 100 kids playing league and tournament games annually. Now, in its tenth year, the foundation has raised funds for their third handicapped field; one in Chesterfield, MO, one in Fairview Heights, IL, and one in St. Louis, at Rankin Jordan Pediatric Hospital.
The foundation has also given funds to the Fanconi Anemia Foundation and raised funds to provide rehabilitation equipment for St Johns Mercy Hospital and their pediatric cancer facility. The Catch 22 Foundation has been able to use the platform that baseball has provided to Mike to filter the generous donations from community members and give dollars straight to the needs of disadvantaged kids.
Stay in Touch
If you have other questions or want to request Mike for a public appearance, event, benefit, etc. please contact our management team with this form and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.