• Eli Chapman

St. Louis Cardinals Mike Shildt joins two elite Cardinals as MLB NL Manager of the Year


St. Louis Cardinals Mike Shildt went from interim manager in 2018 to his first full season as manager in 2019

GETTING TO KNOW THE MAN BEHIND THE AWARD.


St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Shildt has now joined only two other Cardinals managers in club history to become NL Manager of the Year. Manager Whitey Herzog won the award in 1985 and Manager Tony LaRussa in 2002. Shildt received the top honor Tuesday evening for 2019.


As Shildt stated, “There are so many (Cardinal) Hall of Fame managers,” said Shildt. “Just an amazing lineage of managers and to  think I’m a part of that group. . . and to share this award with two people like Tony and Whitey. . . quite honestly, I haven’t got my head around (it), but it’s very special, that’s for sure.” (Rick Hummel, St. Louis Post-Dispatch).


The 2019 NL Manager of the Year goes to a man who is only the eighth man to manage a Major League Baseball team despite never playing professional baseball at any level.


Even though not playing a professional level, he did play. He played while in high school, Olympic High School (Charlotte, NC) and college baseball for University of North Carolina (UNC). But, he gave up the notion of pursuing a possible career in the majors. Why? He could not hit a curveball.


He came to terms that playing in majors was not going to be in his lifetime career. However, baseball would be the mainstay of his working life, beginning in his native Charlotte, North Carolina.


Shildt's future took a different road in baseball that developed into his plateau today. Shildt found his 'nitch' in baseball and success rewarded him early in his baseball career. A career that was strongly supported by his mother, Elizabeth "Lib" Shildt, who passed way recently. According to him, she knew before anyone what would transpire last evening. However, she was saddened knowing she would not be around to watch. But, "She knew first".


SHILDT IS NOT TOTALLY FOREIGN TO 'HONORS EARNED'


He coached high school baseball (West Charlotte HS), along with being an assistant coach at the college level (University of North Carolina). During the off-season he owned a baseball training facility in North Carolina, becoming a full-time baseball instructor to area youths; which, eventually he would help to develop the "Baseball for Life NC Inc"


He began his major league career as a part-time scout, which led to being a full time scout for the Cardinals in North and South Carolina, along with Virginia. He was given his opportunity, on the recommendation of (at the time) 'future' Cardinals GM John Mozeliak, to coach at the minor league level. Beginning as part-time coach for the Cardinals' Single-A affiliate in the New York–Penn League, he was promoted to full time 2006-2007.


In 2008, after coordinating the minor league spring training workout camp, he became hitting coach for the Cardinals affiliate, the Johnson City (TN) Cardinals.

Shildt was promoted to manage the JC Cardinals in 2009, and his team finished with a 37–30 record. His second season, the team posted a 42–24 record, defeating its two playoff opponents to win the title as 2010 Appalachian League Champions.


Johnson City repeated as league champions in 2011 under Shildt. It was the first time that Johnson City clinched two consecutive league championships since 1975–1976.


For his dedicated work, Shildt was named St. Louis Cardinals Minor League Manager of the Year by Scout.com. Also, he was named the Appalachian League Manager of the Year.


After Johnson City's season ended, Shildt was invited to spend some time on the St. Louis Cardinals roster in order to gain experience. Shildt was awarded the George Kissell Award for his "excellence in player development" by the St. Louis Cardinals organization.


Shildt went on to manage the Springfield Cardinals Double-A league for three seasons. He guided Springfield to its first Texas League Championship before being recognized as Baseball America's Team of the Year in 2012.


Following two seasons as the manager for the Memphis Redbirds Triple-A, Shildt was again promoted in 2017. This time to the majors with the Cardinals, as the quality control coach.


The 2017 season began on rough note and third base coach Chris Maloney was reassigned in the organization. Shildt became the full-time Cardinals third base coach for the remaining portion of that season.


In 2018, José Oquendo was brought back to be the St. Louis Cardinals and took over as third base coach. Shildt became the team’s bench coach.


Cardinals had just 'shaken up' the bullpen. Then, on July 14, 2018, former manager Mike Matheny was fired just 'one game' prior to the All Star break. Shildt was made interim manager. On July 15, 2018, he collected his first managerial win in a 6–4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.


In August, 2018, the Cardinals had a strong run going 20-5 with their new "Skipper". On August 28, the team would remove the interim tag from Shildt's title and name him the club's permanent manager, awarding him a 3 year contract. They closed the month, 22-6.


On his 51st birthday this year, Shildt won his career 100th game as Cardinals manager with a 6–2 win, August 9, over the Pittsburgh Pirates. On September 22, 2019, Cardinals 3-2 win over the Chicago Cubs, clinched a postseason berth. The Cardinals clinched as NL Central Division Champions, a playoff berth for the first time in Shildt's career as manager, and the first for the team since 2015.


His first career season as a major league manger, his guidance and faith in his team, proved to be victorious in 2019 for the St. Louis Cardinals.


Congratulations to Mike Shildt being honored as the 2019 MLB National League Manager of the Year.


ONTO 2020


On October 9, 2019, Shildt led his team to a 13-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves to win the NLDS Title. Yet, another first for Cardinals Manager Mike Shildt. He and team look to finalize their 2020 postseason even further.


Thank you for reading. You may also follow me on Twitter @elichap822.


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