MIKE Michael Scott MATHENY
Image of MIKE
Nickname:   MIKE Position:   MANAGER
Home: Lee's Summit, MO Team:   ROYALS
Height: 6' 3" Bats:   R
Weight: 220 Throws:   R
DOB: 9/22/1970 Agent: John Boggs
Uniform #: N/A  
Birth City: Reynoldsburg, OH
Draft: 1991 - Brewers #8 - Out of Univ. of Michigan
YR LEA TEAM SAL(K) G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO OBP SLG AVG
1991 PIO HELENA     255 35 72 14 0 2 34 2   19 51     .282
1992 CAL STOCKTON     333 42 73 13 2 6 46 2   35 81     .219
1993 TL EL PASO     339 39 86 21 2 2 28 1   17 73     .254
1994 AA NEW ORLEANS   57 177 20 39 10 1 4 21 1   16 39     .220
1994 AL BREWERS $109.00 28 53 3 12 3 0 1 2 0 1 3 13 .293 .340 .226
1995 AL BREWERS $110.00 80 166 13 41 9 1 0 21 2 1 12 28 .306 .313 .247
1995 AA NEW ORLEANS     17 3 6 2 0 3 4 0   0 5     .353
1996 AA NEW ORLEANS     66 3 15 4 0 1 6 1   2 17     .227
1996 AL BREWERS $150.00 106 313 31 64 15 2 8 46 3 2 14 80 .243 .342 .204
1997 AL BREWERS $210.00 123 320 29 78 16 1 4 32 0 1 17 68 .294 .338 .244
1998 NL BREWERS $800.00 108 320 24 76 13 0 6 27 1 0 11 63 .278 .334 .238
1999 AL BLUE JAYS $600.00 57 163 16 35 6 0 3 17 0 0 12 37 .271 .307 .215
2000 NL CARDINALS $750.00 128 417 43 109 22 1 6 47 0 0 32 96 .317 .362 .261
2001 NL CARDINALS $900.00 121 381 40 83 12 0 7 42 0 1 28 76 .276 .304 .218
2002 NL CARDINALS $2,500.00 110 315 31 77 12 1 3 35 1 3 32 49 .313 .317 .244
2003 NL CARDINALS $3,250.00 141 441 43 111 18 2 8 47 1 1 44 81 .320 .356 .252
2004 NL CARDINALS $4,000.00 122 385 28 95 22 1 5 50 0 2 23 83 .292 .348 .247
2005 NL GIANTS $2,000.00 134 443 42 107 34 0 13 59 0 2 29 91 .295 .406 .242
2006 NL GIANTS $3,350.00 47 160 10 37 8 0 3 18 0 0 9 30 .276 .338 .231
Personal
  • When Mike was a kid, he and his two older brothers got into trouble. Their Dad, Jerry Matheny, was displeased and called his three boys out to the driveway.

    "My father is a construction worker," Mike said. "For a punishment, he brought home a dump truck full of dirt, dumped it out on our driveway, gave us three shovels and a wheel-barrow, made a circle in the backyard, and told us to move the pile of dirt back there.

    "It took us two days to move it. And when we got it done, he gave us back the three shovels and the wheel-barrow and said, 'Now, move it back.' And we did. And we never got in any more trouble."

  • His Dad was very adamant about how his sons worked, and how they played the game. "I could strike out four times and that was fine. But it was our attitude—if I threw my helmet, I knew I was going to get it when I got home. Or if I didn't give my best effort, I was in for it when I got home."

  • Matheny made his big league debut with the Brewers in 1994. He was in line to be Dave Nilson's backup for Milwaukee in 1995. But because of the strike, he was at home in Ohio without the cushion of a comfortable bank account padded by years of raking in the big bucks. Matheny's wife Kristin had just delivered a baby a year before and they had another one on the way and he sat jobless.

  • Their two children are daughter Katie, and son, Tate.
  • Kristin was also an athlete at Michigan, playing field hockey.

  • Matheny was suspended for five games for his behavior in the May 31, 1996 game in which Albert Belle stiff-armed Brewers' SS Fernando Vina. Mike charged the mound after Tribe P Julian Tavarez threw a fastball behind him.
  • Mike likes to hunt and fish.
  • Matheny is a good person. Several times, former Brewer manager Phil Garner referred to Mike as "a great kid—the type of guy I'd want my daughter to marry."
  • Mike is hard-working, tough and very respected among players. He is a meticulous workaholic.
  • His best friend in baseball is Jeff Cirillo.
  • In 1998, Matheny became a bit of a cult hero in Milwaukee when he was hit in the face by a fastball from Pittsburgh's Rich Loiselle. He didn't go down—not even to one knee—and walked off the field spitting blood. Amazingly, he was back in the starting lineup the next day.
  • Mike is highly respected among teammates and with the fans. He never cheats either of them with his effort. And he is also too polite to turn away a well-meaning friend or fan. Too often, he has contemplated and even tried to use the advice as a remedy for a career .235 batting average (as of the start of the 2003 season). That outside input has often complicated his improvement.

  • Long-time broadcaster and former Cardinal Mike Shannon said of Matheny in 2003: "There's no way the average fan can comprehend how much work, time, and effort he puts in. The list is so long ... he does so much for this team. The sacrifices he makes and the time he puts in are phenomenal."
  • Mike believes God is involved in his life, and he is thankful for it.

    "It may sound like a cop-out, and some people may choose not to believe it, but I know nothing is going to happen to me that doesn't first pass through God's hands," Matheny said. "That's truly how I feel. But along with that comes responsibility. I've got to put my work in. I've got to play the game the way it's supposed to be played. I have a lot of responsibility and that's what I'm trying to cover. I'm not trying to beat guys here just to beat them here. I'm not here trying to stay longer just to stay longer."

  • August 2005: Mike was on bereavement leave for three games to attend the funeral of his grandfather, who died in West Virginia.

  • Matheny is driven, always working to understand his pitcher's traits and be able to change game plans midgame.

    "It's the only way I know, how I was taught the game and life," said Matheny. "I'm a passionate person overall, and what drives me is my faith in Christ. I know in my heart I have God watching every move and intent. [If] I'm not giving everything I have, I'm not just letting down myself but the people in here, the fans and the God that I serve," added Matheny.  (Rich Draper-MLB.com-9/4/05)

  • Mike freely admits he is not the best interview in the game. Speaking to the San Francisco beat reporters early in the 2006 season, he said, "I'm definitely not the colorful personality that radio or TV would appreciate. You guys know that I'm drab. I just come out with a lot of cliches. There's a reason cliches have been around for so long, because it's the right mind-set. That's how I was brought up in this game, and that's what I'm trying to teach some of these young players. There's a right way to go about this that begins with how you think about it."

    SON TATE MATHENY

  • In 2015, Matheny reiterated his preference that the Cardinals not select the oldest of his five children, Tate, in the draft.  Since being a 23rd-round draft pick by the Cardinals in 2012, Tate Matheny increased his draft stock with three standout seasons at Missouri State University.

    Matheny, a first-round pick, has talked extensively with his son about the process and also about the shadow he'd be shrouded in should he end up in the Cardinals' organization. It is for that reason that the manager requested the organization pass on the outfielder.

    "People are going to be on him already, no matter where he goes," Mike Matheny said. "But in this organization, it would be all about me and less about him, and he's done this all on his own. I haven't taken one swing for him or caught one ball.

    "The second part of that is it really puts our organization in a tough spot. When you start talking about our instructors and our coaches and managers, I just don't feel like it's fair. I've expressed that to the organization, and they understand and get it. Tate gets it. So with that being said, the organization can do whatever it wants."

    Mike said he came to the decision after seeing how players Chris Duncan (son of longtime pitching coach Dave Duncan) and Cody McKay (son of longtime coach Dave McKay) were affected by playing for an organization in which their fathers coached.

    Matheny's second oldest son, Luke, honored his letter of intent with Oklahoma State University. (Langosch - mlb.com - 5/5/15)

  • Mike planned on keeping the game card for the fifth game of 2018 Spring Training, maybe even framing it one day. Years from now, he'll present the card to his grandson, Ryker, and explain how the souvenir commemorates a family milestone.

    This is the second year Matheny got to share a Spring Training field with his eldest son, Tate, an outfielder in camp with the Red Sox. But it is the first spring that Tate's young son was in the building as well. For the first time, three generations of Matheny men took part, in some way, in the same game. 

    Mike managed. Tate played center field. Ryker watched from the stands.  "Pretty cool stuff," Mike Matheny said. "It's pretty unique." 

    And yes, Ryker can be included in that, too, even though he's less than a year old. That's because he's technically part of the Red Sox's organization after the club presented him with an honorary contract last year.  "That's something that's done for all the newborns," Mike Matheny said. "I've signed a bunch of them."

    Tate Matheny entered as a defensive replacement in the seventh and walked in his only at-bat in the eighth. Before the game, he presented the Red Sox's lineup card and discussed ground rules with the umpires, across from his dad.

    "How many people have been able to have a moment like that?" Mike said. "It's rare. The father-son thing doesn't happen very often. That's something that he's been dreaming about a long time. He loves the game, so it's fun seeing him do what he loves to do and being recognized for how he does it."   (Trezza - mlb.com - 2/27/18)

  • MLB.com posed 10 mostly non-baseball questions to Mike to find out a little bit more about the Royals new skipper:

    1) Favorite pig-out food? Pizza.

    2) Wine, beer, or cocktails? Wine. I love a good Cabernet. 

    3) Favorite thing you do to relax? During the season, after a game, if I have everything taken care of, I always bring a guitar with me (a six-string or electric). I play at the end of the night. I hate turning the TV on.  I feel I get officially dumber with the TV on. I’m not good with the guitar. My kids think I’m good and that’s all that matters. They are my only audience.

    4) Favorite all-time baseball movie? And favorite overall movie? It’s changed over time after having kids, so I’d say “Sandlot.” For favorite overall movie, I’ve got a top five, but I’ll say “A River Runs Through It,” a great story about family.

    5) Last book you read? “Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter.” A current Navy Seal turned me on to it so I read it right before we got here.

    6) If you hadn’t gone into baseball you’d be . . . . I was actually really close to going into the military at one point. My best friend went. If the scholarship at Michigan hadn’t gone through, I was going into the military.

    7) Dogs or cats? Dogs. I have a German Shepherd and the other is the coolest looking little dog, it looks like a miniature Husky. It’s half Pomeranian and half Husky. He has the bright blue eyes like a Husky. It’s called a Pomsky. He thinks he’s the king of the world, he really does.

    8) What’s the last thing you fixed in your house without having to call a handyman? That’s a bad question for me because I have serious pride issues and I think I can fix anything. I will do electrical and I will do plumbing, but with plumbing, someone has to come check it out afterward. I do anything with carpentry—that’s one of my hobbies in the offseason, building furniture. We’ve done some lodge/cabins from the ground up, too. I like to learn so if I do have to bring in a handyman, I’m in their back pocket the whole time, trying to learn.

    9) If you could go back in time, what era would you like to visit? My grandfather’s era, the World War II era. Those guys, that generation, fascinate me. You just think about the history of time, there hasn’t been more change than one generation has witnessed, than that generation. All they had to go through. Going through the Depression, going through World War II, their fathers probably went to World War I, too. Amazing what that generation did.

    10) Who were your mentors? Tony La Russa, Bruce Bochy, Whitey Herzog, and Joe Torre. Those were the four guys I could call at any time. (Flanagan - mlb.com - 3/6/2020)

  • Aug 15, 2020: Mike won his 600th career game, this one against the Twins. 

    TRANSACTIONS

  • June 1991: The Brewers drafted Mike in the 8th round, out of the University of Michigan.
  • 1998: The Brewers didn't offer Matheny a contract for 1999.
  • December 23, 1998: He signed with the Blue Jays.
  • November 17, 1999: Toronto released him.
  • December 15, 1999: Mike signed as a free agent with the Cardinals.
  • April 2, 2001: Mike signed a three-year, $9 million contract extension, through 2004.

    Right after Mike signed his contract, he called his father and told him to quit his job—retirement money was on the way. His Dad would no longer have to drive a grader on a construction job. His son would be the one working in the dirt—behind home plate.

  • December 2004: The Cardinals offered Matheny a two-year contract worth $4 million. But instead, he signed a three-year contract with the Giants, worth $10.5 million. The back-loaded contract included a $3 million signing bonus. 
Batting
  • Matheny is a real good defensive catcher, and in the 2000 season he got off to a real hot start with the bat, becoming a bit of an offensive force for the first time. He learned to hit to the opposite field, finally.

    However, in 2001, he was swinging at too many bad pitches, showing a lack of patience at the plate.

  • Once preoccupied with hitting for power, Matheny has spread his stance and concentrates on hitting to all fields. Matheny has quick hands but never has stuck with one approach for long.

  • He is big and strong enough to get his bat through the zone and drive the ball, but he really doesn't hit with a lot of authority. He lacks bat speed.
  • Matheny is a very good bunter, maybe even the best among catchers.
  • Only his offense has prevented him from being a star player. So he worked hard on switch-hitting with ex-Cardinal OF Andy Van Slyke during the offseason before 2002 spring training.

    They stressed Mike's lefthanded swing. Matheny lacked the same bat speed hitting from the left side. Eventually, he dropped the switch-hitting idea because, "I felt myself hitting the ball a lot better righthanded. I started seeing some things come along that I saw watching film of me hitting lefthanded. Whenever I'd hit, we'd film my swing. It was easier to see watching myself rather than watching somebody else's swing.''

  • When Matheny got off to such a fast start in 2003, Andy Van Slyke said, "I'm not surprised at all. But," he cautioned, "April doesn't give you a good year. For him, this is uncharted territory. His biggest challenge is believing he can do it. I think doubt has been more prevalent in his mind than confidence and trust. But he seems to have trust in himself right now."

    Van Slyke agreed with Matheny that hitting lefthanded could help him hitting righthanded. "Some of his mechanics lefthanded were better than righthanded," Van Slyke said. "His head was behind the ball, his hands were out, the bat was out in front of him. His body had been chasing the ball instead of the other way around."

    Matheny will never forget the assistance Van Slyke gave him, even though he didn't necessarily stay the course. "It was good for me," said Matheny.

  • Matheny's tendency is to solve every problem with repetition. The process has made him a seamless defensive player but at times has ingrained his imperfections as a hitter.

    "I've always got people telling me that I'm big and strong and should be able to hit more home runs. Then I start thinking that. My swing gets long and I do nothing. I make good contact right to the warning track and that does nobody any good. A lot of it's getting pride out of the way. I just need to square the ball, put it in play, put pressure on the defense, move runners over, work counts and try to have tough at-bats in RBI situations," Matheny said.

  • Mike's career numbers: batting average of .239 and 67 home runs in 3,877 at-bats.

  • He has few peers when it comes to blocking pitches in the dirt. Matheny slides his body horizontally in line with the ball, with the padding of his glove facing the mound. Too many catchers don't move their body, and instead just try and spear the wayward pitch with their mitt.

    THROWING OUT BASE-STEALERS

  • In 1996, with the Brewers, Mike threw out 25 of 77 attempting base-stealers (33%). In 1997, he threw out 35% of baserunners, 6th-best in the American League, and his fielding pct. ranked 5th (.993). In 1998, Matheny threw out just 24 percent of base-stealers, 17th in the National League (out of 20 we ranked).

    In 2000, he threw out 49-of-93 potential base-thieves, a great success rate of 52%. In 2001, Mike threw out 28 of 58 base-thieves (48%).

    In 2003, Matheny played 138 errorless games behind the plate and was charged with only five passed balls. Only 55 baserunners dared to run on him, and he threw out 15 of them (27 percent).

    In 2004, Mike threw out 29.6 percent of runners and had the second-lowest catcher's ERA in the Majors.

    In 2005, Matheny threw out 32 percent, 30 of the 93 attempts to steal a base off him. And, he had the highest single-season fielding percentage for a San Francisco catcher with one error in 862 chances.

  • Matheny comes to play every day. Watching him catch is like going home to an old sofa. Managers can relax. You don't find a kid with his attitude very often.
  • Matheny had the luxury of learning to catch under former Big Leaguer Bill Freehan at Michigan. 
  • He doesn't have the cannon like Pudge Rodriguez, but he blocks balls extremely well and calls a good game. He is one of the better defensive catchers in the game. He handles a pitching staff exquisitely. He is an intelligent, studious catcher with a quiet motion behind the plate and a good rapport with pitchers. He knows hitters and their tendencies, so he does an excellent job of calling a game.
  • Matheny loves being a catcher. "I just love being behind the plate—all the strategy that goes unseen there," he said.

    GOLD GLOVER

  • In 2000, Mike won a Gold Glove for the first time.

  • He also won the award in 2003, 2004, and 2005. 

  • Matheny is one of the top defensive catchers in the game and an extension of the manager and pitching coach. Mike even works with pitcher on their mechanics.
  • Mike is one of only three receivers in big league history to catch at least 100 games in a single year without committing an error and has the second-highest fielding percentage among National League catchers since 2000, with a .997 mark, as of the start of the 2006 season.
  • In 2005, Matheny posted the highest single-season fielding percentage for a catcher in Giants history, logging a .999 mark, with just one error in 862 total chances.

  • His 1,122 innings caught rank fourth in Giants history since they moved to the West Coast.  

Fielding

            MANAGERIAL/COACHING TRAITS

  • Matheny and Cardinals GM John Mozeliak have a long-standing relationship with mutual respect.
  • Any doubts that might have existed as to whether this club would embrace a guy with no previous managerial or coaching experience at any professional level were answered right away.

    "Every manager I've worked with ... and I've had quite a few," Lance Berkman said in 2012, "the first thing they have to do is earn the trust of the team. With Mike, that was Day 1. It was a very quick process because we all know what type of person he is."

    SPEAKS SPANISH

  • Matheny's bilingual abilities, which date back to his electives concentration at the University of Michigan, are just part of what's helped him catch on so quickly as the Cardinals' skipper. He speaks Spanish well. 
  • When Matheny arrived at the Michigan campus for his sophomore year, newly installed head baseball coach Bill Freehan—the great defensive catcher who spent 15 seasons with the Tigers in the 1960s and 1970s—called him into his office and told him to schedule an appointment with his guidance counselor.

    "From now on," Freehan told Matheny, "every one of your electives is Spanish."

    Recalled Matheny: "That was a 'yes, sir' conversation."

    Freehan saw in Matheny then what the Cardinals see now—a natural-born leader. And he wanted him to maximize his opportunity to communicate with the Latin players he'd one day be guiding. (Editor's note: What great vision Freehan had.)

  • Matheny has a great presence to him. He is the epitome of toughness a man who endured an estimated seven concussions before finally calling it a career in 2007.

    "He's just got a good leadership quality about him," Matt Holliday said. "First of all, he's a good person, and I think people respect someone who treats people the right way. I think he's a good communicator, and I think as a manager that's important. And he's a humble guy. I think he's done a great job of coming in and just kind of keeping things going." (Spring 2012)

  • Matheny has a library in his home that has books galore about leaders in business and leaders of this nation, about leaders in sport and in history.

    Matheny's studies were deep. He made them personal. He made them constant. He evolved into a leader. If he was going to lead, he needed to learn from the best. And so he began to read, starting back during his playing career.

    Managing in the Majors is a long-time "natural dream," he says. "Even just coaching kids, I knew I loved not only baseball, but being able to impact people," Matheny said. "It's almost a perfect match of what I know best, which is this game and then a heart to help people."

    Before Mike was named manager of the Cardinals, he coached his kids. He coached other parents' kids. And he kept reading.

    "You could see that he would be a leader in whatever he decided to do," said Jeff Cirillo, a member of the same 1991 Brewers draft class as Matheny. "I'm not surprised that he would be in this situation and not be overwhelmed by anything. I've never seen him out of control off the field or lose his emotions on it."  (Jenifer Langosch-MLB.com-9/12/12)

  • At the end of the 2015 season, Matheny had done something no other manager in history had done: reached the playoffs in each of his first four seasons as an MLB manager. His Cardinals had a 375-273 record during that incredible run. (Editor's note: The Cardinals missed the playoffs in 2016.)

  • In 2015, Matheny released a new book offering his critique of how today's parents are ruining the youth sports experience for children. He also touched on how he boldly expresses his love for Jesus in today's increasingly secular environment.

    In "The Matheny Manifesto: A Young Manager's Old-School Views on Success in Sports and Life," the 44-year-old Cardinals' skipper wrote that many of today's parents are living vicariously through their child's youth sports activities and, because of that, many children end up quitting sports due to the pressure and fear of letting their parents down.

    After 13 seasons as a big-league catcher with four different teams, Matheny, retired in 2006. In 2008, Matheny was asked if he could coach a local youth baseball team. Before agreeing to coach the team, Matheny presented the team's parents with a five-page, single-spaced letter outlining what he expected of the parents, and told them he would not coach the team if they did not agree to abide by the requests he made in the letter.

    "I always said that the only team that I would coach would be a team of orphans and now here we are," said Matheyn. "The reason for me saying this is that I have found the biggest problems with youth sports has been the parents," Matheny wrote in his letter, which would later go viral on social media and become known as The Matheny Manifesto.

    "I think the concept that I am asking you to grab is that this experience is ALL about the boys. If there is anything about this that includes you, we need to make a change of plans."

    In the letter, Matheny told the parents that he expected them to stay out of the way and not to get too involved as he vowed to teach their sons not only the right way to play baseball, but more importantly, teach them the importance of having high moral character, being accountable, and the importance of servant leadership.

    "There is this perception that every parent can turn a kid into this super athlete, they can go get their college paid for and make it to the big leagues," Matheny said. "Meanwhile, these parents are investing all these dollars … but then it turns into this investment that they have to get a return on. I think that is when things go sour."

    Although Matheny wanted his team to win, his coaching philosophy for the youth team was not about winning, he simply wanted to develop every player and help them grow to become first-class citizens.

    As important as the physical repetitions are in any two-hour practice, Matheny said it was equally important for him to take time out of every practice to implement "character development studies." The studies were designed to help teach the kids how to make the right ethical choices by addressing topics like honesty, teamwork, sexual purity, drugs and discipline.

    While other youth teams might spend a lot of time traveling to out-of-state tournaments, Matheny focused on furthering his players' personal character development even more by having them participate in community service projects. The projects ranged from picking up recyclables at a Cardinals game to giving back to the less fortunate in the nearby community.

    Matheny said his drive to have his players participate in community work is driven largely by his Christian faith.

    "That's how I run my baseball teams, as far as the kind of men I want on my baseball team. I ask of it from the youth players, and I ask of it from the big-league players," Matheny asserted. "It's fundamental to my faith, and I believe that is the ultimate example of servant leadership is the life that Christ lived for others. I believe that is what I say I am, and I do claim to be, a follower of Christ, and that is the way I should go about everything in my life."

    Matheny's letter to the parents also informed the parents that he is "without apology" a Christian. And if the opportunity presented itself, he would not shy away from reflecting his faith in deeper conversations with his players.

    Although Matheny is no longer managing children and is now managing one of the most successful professional baseball franchises in history, he said he still finds a way to remain bold in his faith and spread the love of Christ while also being careful to not force his faith down anybody's throat.

    Matheny wrote that it was a "miracle" that he was hired to replace hall-of-famer Tony La Russa as the manager of the Cardinals in 2012. Although it was just six seasons after he retired as a player and had no previous managerial experience, Matheny said that that God was "at work" when he was hired, as he was instantly placed on a bigger platform, in the public eye, that provided him with more opportunities to do God's work and share what he believes.

    "I can either take credit like I had done something great to deserve this or I can be humbly bowing down on the floor to the Creator of all things and realizing that there is an opportunity," Matheny said. "I do want to make sure that it is noted that I truly believe that we get opportunities and I believe that we have to do something with those. I just believe that God is at work around me all the time and I want to be in tune to that."

    Given the attention that Matheny gave to his Christian faith in his book, as he included one chapter on how his faith is critical in his life and also included many other Christian anecdotes, he said he has received some backlash from critics for including "Christian undertones." My response is, 'Well, I apologize. I meant to have Christian overtones,'" he said. "I think Christian men of this world need to be less politically correct when it comes to this topic and be more bold." (By Samuel Smith, CP Reporter)

  • Nov 3, 2016: Instead of allowing Matheny to manage under the final year of his contract in 2017, the Cardinals reached an extension with the fifth-year manager that will carry him through the 2020 season.

    "I couldn't be happier," Matheny said. "This is home for us. It's going to be home after I'm no longer the Cardinals manager. I'm excited to be a part of this organization for a little while longer. We've already started hashing some things out about what we have to do. I love the forward thinking of the organization and trying to always improve the culture, trying to improve the end product and continue to put something out there our fans are proud of." (J Langosch - MLB.com - Nov 3, 2016) (Editor's note: In July 2018, the Cardinals fired Matheny.)

Running

          POST-PLAYING CAREER POSITIONS

  • 2010: Matheny was special assistant in player development for the Cardinals.

  • November 15, 2011: The Cardinals chose Mike Matheny to replace Tony LaRussa as their manager. He signed a two-year contract, through the 2013 season.

  • February 14, 2013: Matheny was signed to a contract extension through the 2014 season.
  • November 20, 2013: The Cardinals extended Mike again, for three more years, through 2017.

  • November 10, 2016: The Cardinals added a four-year extension, through 2020 for Matheny to stay in St. Louis.

  • In 2015, Jason Heyward didn't make the request, but Cards' manager Mike Matheny didn't feel he needed to wait for one. What better way to welcome Heyward into the organization, Matheny thought, than to initiate a potential jersey swap himself.

    Matheny and Heyward both have deep-rooted connections to the No. 22. It's the only number Heyward has ever worn as a Major Leaguer, and, aside from brief stints with numbers 15 and 44, the one Matheny had donned as both a player and manager. The number also plays prominently in the non-profit organization Matheny started in 2003, the Catch Twenty-Two Foundation, which has helped build handicapped-accessible baseball fields in three St. Louis-area cities.

    In some form, both Heyward and Matheny also have the figure represented as parts of their Twitter handles.

    But it's the reason Heyward wears that number that has driven Matheny to begin the process of working with Major League Baseball's merchandising folks to see if the manager can give it up. There are some complexities with that process because of merchandise already printed and in distribution.

    Heyward's connection to No. 22 goes back to his days at Henry County High School in Georgia, where he played alongside catcher Andrew Wilmot, who wore No. 22. While attending college. Wilmot was killed in a car accident in 2007. As a gesture to his late friend's family, Heyward asked the Braves for No. 22 five years before, in 2010.

    He has worn that number to honor and remember Wilmot ever since. Wilmot's mother, Tammie Ruston, who was also Heyward's high school literature teacher senior year, was in the right-field stands to see Heyward debut with that number. (Jenifer Langosch - 11/26/2014)

  • July 14, 2018: The Cardinals dismissed Matheny as manager.

  • November 26, 2018: Mike joined the Royals as a senior advisor. The 48-year old will assist in several aspects of the baseball operations department, including scouting and player development.

  • October 31, 2019: Matheny was hired as manager of the Royals following the retirement of Ned Yost.
Career Injury Report
  • June 15-July 13, 1998: Mike went on the D.L. with a strained external oblique muscle.
  • September 29, 2000: Matheny sliced open tendons in his ring finger on his right hand while messing around with a new hunting knife he had gotten as a birthday present. He missed the Cardinals' postseason.
  • June 3-18, 2004: Mike was on the D.L. with a strained muscle in his rib cage.
  • June 2-end of 2006 season: Matheny was on the D.L. after taking a 100-mph shot to his masked forehead and was taken out of the game, feeling woozy. Because of the severity of the blow, and the fact the veteran backstop also was hit in the head two days before that, he went on the shelf with a mild concussion. He had blurry vision.

    Mike's 2006 season was over. He was not able to recover from post-concussion syndrome.

  • February 1, 2007: Matheny retired because of complications from the concussion that sidelined him for the last four months of the 2006 season.

  • March 3, 2013: A ruptured disk in Mike's back required an epidural injection to reduce inflammation and get a particle off a nerve. If the injection doesn't help alleviate pain, he said surgery would "have to be something we would consider."

    And surgery is what he required. The ruptured disk sends pain into his right leg, which became severe on Feb. 28 and caused him to skip the next day's game. He decided to have the surgery now, before the long plane trips during the regular season.

    "There is still a fragment that is stuck in a spot where it's getting to the nerve and affecting what is going on back there," Matheny said before the surgery.

    During the surgery, which lasted about 90 minutes, the surgeon found and removed four disc fragments that were putting pressure against a nerve. If all goes as expected with the recovery, Matheny will not need to undergo any additional procedures.