Matheny with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2013
|Catcher / Manager|
Born: September 22, 1970|
|April 7, 1994, for the Milwaukee Brewers|
|Last MLB appearance|
|May 31, 2006, for the San Francisco Giants|
|Runs batted in||443|
|Career highlights and awards|
Michael Scott Matheny (born September 22, 1970) is an American former professional baseball catcher. He played 13 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Milwaukee Brewers, Toronto Blue Jays, St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants. Matheny later spent 7 seasons as the manager of the Cardinals. One of the most accomplished defensive players of his era, he won four Rawlings Gold Glove Awards. As manager, Matheny's teams have claimed one National League (NL) pennant and three NL Central division titles. He bats and throws right-handed, stands 6 feet 3 inches (1.91 m) tall, and weighs 205 pounds (93 kg).
From Reynoldsburg, Ohio, Matheny was selected by the Brewers in the eighth round of the 1991 MLB draft from the University of Michigan (UM). He made his MLB debut as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers on April 7, 1994. Matheny established major league records among catchers for consecutive games played without committing an error (252), and consecutive chances fielded without an error (1,565). He is one of three catchers in major league history with an errorless season of at least 100 games, and in 2005, set a Giants single-season team record for catcher's fielding percentage at .999. Matheny has made two World Series appearances—both with the Cardinals—one as a player (2004), and one as a manager (2013). He retired from playing in 2006 due to persisting concussion symptoms, and has since become an advocate for its prevention and for improved catcher safety.
Following his playing career, Matheny coached Little League Baseball. The Cardinals hired him to manage following the 2011 season in spite of having no previous professional coaching or managerial experience. In 2012, the Cardinals were wild card winners, and from 2013–15, claimed three consecutive NL Central titles, including winning a career-best 100 games for Matheny in 2015. He became the first manager in MLB history to lead his team to the playoffs in each of his first four seasons, and the fifth to a League Championship Series appearance in each of his first three. In 2018, he became the fourth Cardinals manager to manage the club in 1,000 games.
- 1 Early life and amateur career
- 2 Playing career (1991–2006)
- 3 Managerial career (2012–2018)
- 4 Awards and accomplishments
- 5 Personal life
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Early life and amateur career
Matheny grew up in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus. He graduated from Reynoldsburg High School, where he captained the baseball and football teams. He received little attention from nearby Ohio State University, but accepted a scholarship offered by University of Michigan coach Bud Middaugh.
But his defensive and throwing skills had drawn the notice of major league scouts, and the Toronto Blue Jays drafted him in the 31st round of the 1988 Major League Baseball Draft. They waited two days until after the draft ended to tell him of his selection, and initially refused to disclose which round they had selected him.
Two days before he was due to attend his first class at Michigan, Blue Jays general manager Pat Gillick appeared at Matheny's home to convince him to sign. Gillick was ready to offer a deal normally reserved for second-round picks. At the time, teams held the right to negotiate with their draft picks until the moment they entered their first classroom in the following academic year. The Blue Jays called Matheny frequently until the morning of his first class, hoping he would sign. But Matheny was convinced that he would not be a very good professional player at that point, so he chose to attend college instead. Before proceeding to his first class, he called the Blue Jays from his dormitory room to inform them of his decision.
Playing career (1991–2006)
Minor leagues, Milwaukee Brewers and Toronto Blue Jays (1991–99)
The Milwaukee Brewers selected Matheny in the eighth round of the 1991 Major League Baseball Draft and he spent three years climbing the minor league system. He made his major league debut with the Brewers on April 7, 1994 at the age of 23; he became their starting catcher early in the next season.
During a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on May 26, 1998, Matheny was batting in the bottom of the ninth when he took a pitch from Rich Loiselle off his face. Remaining upright, Matheny placed his hand on his hip as Pirates catcher Jason Kendall and home plate umpire Jerry Crawford motioned wildly for the Brewers trainers. He spat out a mouthful of blood as he walked off the field. At the end of that season, he became eligible for salary arbitration and the Brewers granted him free agency a few months later.
Ten years after they drafted him, the Toronto Blue Jays signed on December 23, 1998, for the 1999 season. He served as Darrin Fletcher's understudy. Gillick had resigned in 1994, however. Toronto released him after the season, and he signed with the St. Louis Cardinals on December 15, 1999.
St. Louis Cardinals (2000–04)
Matheny barely made the Cardinals roster after the spring training session, but went on to earn the starting catcher's role in the 2000 season. He posted a career-high .261 batting average and provided exceptional defense for the Cardinals, with a .993 fielding percentage and throwing out 53% of would-be base stealers, well above the league average of 32%. Matheny helped the Cardinals improve from their fourth-place finish in 1999 to capturing the National League Central Division title, and claimed his first Gold Glove award in the process. After the season, the Cardinals signed him to a three-year, $9-million contract.
After teammate Darryl Kile's sudden death in the summer of 2002, Matheny showed that he was "an inspirational leader," helping the team to cope and make it to the National League Championship Series. After the 2003 season, the St. Louis and Houston chapters of the BBWAA voted for Matheny as the inaugural winner of an award established in Kile's honor.
Bolstering his growing reputation as a top defensive catcher, Matheny again won Gold Gloves with the Cardinals in 2003 and 2004. His defensive contributions helped St. Louis reach the postseason in four of his five years with the team, including claiming the National League pennant in 2004. Between August 1, 2002 and August 4, 2004, Matheny played in 252 games without committing an error, establishing a new Major League record for catchers.
Matheny set another Major League record for catchers in 2004 by fielding 1,565 consecutive chances without an error. During his playing days in a Cardinal uniform, Matheny caught 611 games, accumulating 4,938.1 innings and committing just 14 errors. His .997 fielding percentage leads all catchers who have caught at least 2,000 innings for St. Louis. He became a free agent after the 2004 World Series, primarily due to the emergence of rookie catcher Yadier Molina, with whom he would eventually be reunited.
San Francisco Giants (2005–06)
Matheny signed a three-year contract with the San Francisco Giants on December 13, 2004. The next season, he displayed a rare power surge, amassing career-highs with 13 home runs, 34 doubles, a .406 slugging percentage and 59 runs batted in (RBIs). Matheny continued his defensive excellence, compiling a team-record .999 fielding percentage and leading National League catchers with 13 double plays, 77 assists and 39 would-be base-stealers caught stealing, earning his fourth Gold Glove. He also took home the Willie Mac Award that year, accorded annually to a San Francisco Giant for spirit and leadership.
Matheny landed on the disabled list on May 31, 2006 after a series of foul balls caromed off his mask, resulting in a serious concussion. In July, the Giants announced that he would not return for the remainder of the season and that his career status was in doubt. MLB.com's Giants beat writer, Rich Draper, articulated that Matheny's career was likely over due to continued struggles with post-concussion syndrome.
Retirement and career statistics
On February 1, 2007, Matheny announced his retirement from Major League Baseball at the age of 35 due to on-going symptoms of post-concussion syndrome. Shortly thereafter, Matheny became a baseball mentor for Protégé Sports and filming some catching tips and drills for the Scottsdale-based company.
In his thirteen-year major league career, Matheny played in 1,305 games, accumulating 925 hits in 3,877 at bats for a .239 career batting average along with 67 home runs, 443 RBIs and an on-base percentage of .293. He led National League catchers twice in fielding percentage and ended his career with a .994 average, which was 4 points above the league average during his playing career. His .994 career fielding percentage ranks tenth all-time among Major League catchers. Matheny also twice led National League catchers in baserunners caught stealing.
Managerial career (2012–2018)
St. Louis Cardinals
On January 24, 2008, Matheny returned to the St. Louis Cardinals organization as a special adviser for the first two weeks of spring training. They announced him as their new manager on November 14, 2011, following Tony La Russa's retirement, making him the youngest manager in the major leagues. Matheny's other prior coaching experience included Little League Baseball and other interviewees included Terry Francona, Ryne Sandberg, José Oquendo, Chris Maloney and Joe McEwing, all of whom already had managerial or coaching experience in the major leagues.
First season as manager (2012)
On April 4, 2012, Matheny won in his managerial debut against the Miami Marlins in the first game of their new ballpark. Twenty days later, Matheny was ejected from a game for the first time for arguing a pivotal safe/out call by umpire Bill Welke in the bottom of the 10th inning of a 3-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs.
Matheny's first season as Cardinals manager was an overall success, finishing the regular season with an 88–74 record en route to capturing the National League wild-card game and qualifying for the postseason. The Giants defeated the Cardinals in the NLCS.
On February 14, 2013, the Cardinals picked up Matheny's 2014 option. He surpassed the success of his first season by guiding the club in 2013 a 97–65 record, the best record in the National League and his first National League Central division title. The Cardinals defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 3–2 in the NLDS and the Los Angeles Dodgers 4–2 in the NLCS for his first NL pennant. The Boston Red Sox defeated the Cardinals in the World Series in six games, with many similarities to 2004, when Matheny was also a key member of the team (as catcher), the Cardinals finished with the best record in the NL, and the Red Sox likewise defeated the Cardinals in the World Series. However, in 2013, St. Louis lost four key players to season-ending injuries – including Chris Carpenter, Rafael Furcal, Jaime García and Jason Motte – rookies comprised half of the World Series pitching staff. On November 20, 2013, the Cardinals extended his contract for three more years through 2017.
Making his first All-Star appearance as a major leaguer, Matheny was the National League manager in the 2014 game, which the American League won, 5–3. The Cardinals won the NL Central division title in 2014, their second consecutive title, and third consecutive playoff appearance with Matheny as manager. More trends continued as they eliminated the Dodgers from the playoffs for the second consecutive season, this time in the NLDS. As was the ending in 2012, the Giants eliminated the Cardinals in the NLCS.
After defeating the Chicago Cubs 10–9 on May 4, 2015, the Cardinals sported an MLB-best 19–6 record, which was the best 25-game start for the club since at least 1900. Having won seven in a row, it established a career high for Matheny. The Cardinals defeated the Cubs again the next game, 7–4, extending the win streak to eight. A 3–1 victory over the Detroit Tigers on May 17, 2015, securing the 300th win of his managerial career. In August 2015, Baseball America published that fellow managers and coaches in the National League rated Matheny the second-best manager in the league. On September 19, the Cardinals became the first team in the majors to advance to the playoffs. Matheny became the first manager in MLB history to guide his club to the postseason in each of his first four full seasons. With an 11–1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on September 30, the Cardinals won 100 games for the first time in Matheny's managerial career, while clinching their third consecutive NL Central division title. The Pirates, who had kept close for most of the season, had already won 96 games, while clinching a wild-card berth. However, the Cubs, the second wild card entrant, defeated the Cardinals in the NLDS in four games. Matheny finished second in the NL Manager of the Year Award voting, and a co-winner of the J. G. Taylor Spink St. Louis Baseball Man of the Year Award.
Matheny reached the 1,000th game of his career as manager on May 1, 2018. It was a 3−2, walk-off victory versus the Chicago White Sox, with Yadier Molina hitting the game-winning single. Matheny joined Red Schoendienst, Whitey Herzog, and Tony La Russa as the only managers to pilot the franchise for at least 1,000 games. Overall, his teams had won 560 games for a .560 winning percentage.
- As of games played on July 14, 2018.
|Team||From||To||Regular season record||Post–season record|
|G||W||L||Win %||G||W||L||Win %|
|St. Louis Cardinals||2012||2018||1065||591||474||.555||43||21||22||.488|
Awards and accomplishments
- First manager in MLB history to guide team to playoffs in each of first four seasons (2012–15)
- 100-win season as manager (2015)
- MLB record for consecutive games caught without an error (252 from 2002–04)
- One of three catchers in MLB history with fielding percentage of 1.000 with at least 100 games caught (2003)
- Three consecutive seasons with fielding percentage of .999 or above, one or fewer errors and at least 100 games caught (2003–05)
- San Francisco Giants' single-season record for catcher's fielding percentage (.999 in 2005)
- 1,000 games managed (St. Louis Cardinals)
- 2× Baseball America Toolbox Awards for best manager (2014 – 2nd, 2015 – 2nd)
- Darryl Kile Good Guy Award (2003)
- Major League Baseball All-Star (2014)
- Missouri Athletic Club Sports Personality of the Year (2015)
- 6× National League Central division title winner (2000, 2002, 2004, 2013, 2014, 2015)
- 2× National League pennant winner (2004, 2013)
- 4× Rawlings Gold Glove Award at catcher (2000, 2003–05)
- Willie Mac Award (2005)
- National League Manager of the Year voting results: 5th (2012), 4th (2013), 4th (2014), 2nd (2015)
Matheny is married to his wife, Kristen. Kristen Matheny is a former field hockey player at the University of Michigan. The couple have five children: one daughter, Katie, and four sons, Michael "Tate", Luke, Jacob and Blaise. Tate played college baseball at Missouri State University and was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 4th round of the 2015 MLB Draft. Daughter Katie plays hockey at Ohio State. Son Luke pitches at Oklahoma State University. Matheny majored in sports management and communications with an emphasis in Spanish.
Matheny routinely chronicles his life experiences and maintains a blog of which topics includes leadership and changing the culture of youth sports. He is a Christian, and has spoken about his faith, saying, "... Jesus Christ is at the center of my life. [My faith is] all that I am, every day, every decision that I make." He has been known to add a verse from the Bible to his autographs. Under his name, he includes either "John 3:16" or "John 3:17."
Matheny organized and created the Catch-22 charity (named for his playing position and uniform number) which donated tickets for Cardinals games between 2002 and 2004. In 2005, Matheny opened a "Catch 22" field at the Chesterfield Valley Athletic complex in Chesterfield, Missouri. The field has a completely flat and firm rubber surface and other features to allow children with a wide array of physical and mental handicaps to participate. 
Real estate ventures
The aftermath of unprofitable real estate transactions left Matheny heavily in debt. In 2005, Matheny had founded MPD Partnership with two indoor soccer players, Daryl Doran and Brett Phillips. This venture proved successful as they purchased a block of the WingHaven Develop in St. Charles and gained a $2.4 million profit after six months. Doran separated from the partnership to start a gym. Matheny and Phillips then used the income to secure an $11.8 million loan for an eleven-acre tract near Interstate 64. He lost a 17-room house in Wildwood, Missouri, following insolvency on two commercial plots in near Chesterfield Valley. These plots did not sustain tenants and the value deflated after the financial crisis of 2007–08. His debts exceed $4 million and the amount of liability depended on the outcome of lawsuits involving the defaulted loans. Matheny's attorney, Robert Blitz, is handling a similar case: Fischer and Frichtel, a homebuilder who also defaulted on assets after sustaining losses over the same time period, contends that they should not be fully liable for what is termed as "deflationary debt." The St. Louis appellate court deferred the case to the Supreme Court of Missouri. In January 2013, a circuit court ruling determined that the Matheny partnership owed The Business Bank of St. Louis $4.4 million despite economic conditions and the bank's decision to stop loaning money to Matheny.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mike Matheny.|
- List of Major League Baseball career putouts as a catcher leaders
- List of St. Louis Cardinals team records
- St. Louis Cardinals award winners and league leaders
- Vass, George (May 2005). For Catchers, The Name of the Game is Defense. Baseball Digest. Retrieved 12 January 2012.
- "Sports Illustrated Players' Poll: Who is the best defensive catcher in the major leagues?". Sports Illustrated. May 30, 2005. Retrieved April 3, 2012.
- Giants Press Release (February 1, 2007). "Giants catcher Mike Matheny announces retirement". mlb.com. Retrieved April 4, 2012.
- "Managers and coaches: Mike Matheny". stlous.cardinals.mlb.com. Retrieved August 17, 2013.
- Wasserman, Daniel (June 5, 2011). "Trading in blue for gold: Mike Matheny's path to and from Michigan". The Michigan Daily. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
- Olsen, Drew (April 30, 1997). "Matheny makes the plays: Catcher's hit, tag key in close victory". The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. p. 8. Retrieved April 4, 2012.
- "Mike Matheny". The Encyclopedia of Baseball Catchers. Retrieved April 4, 2012.
- "1991 Major League Baseball Draft 8th Round". thebaseballcube.com. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
- "Mike Matheny minor league statistics". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved April 4, 2012.
- "Mike Matheny statistics and history". Baseball-reference.com. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
- "1995 Mike Matheny batting log". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved April 4, 2012.
- Cosentino, Dom (October 23, 2013). "That time Mike Matheny took a fastball to the face and barely flinched". Deadspin. Retrieved January 25, 2014.
- Haudricourt, Tom (December 11, 1998). "Bando heading to meetings in search of pitching help". The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. p. 8. Retrieved April 4, 2012.
- "Matheny Signs 3-Year Extension Worth Around $9 Million". nl.newsbank.com. Retrieved April 4, 2012.
- "Mike Matheny fielding statistics". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved 4 April 2012.
- "2000 Gold Glove Award winners". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved April 4, 2012.
- Johnson, Chuck (October 22, 2004). "Cardinals win NLCS, advance to World Series". USA Today. Retrieved August 14, 2013.
- "St. Louis Cardinals leaderboards ›› catchers ›› fielding statistics, Fielding percentage". Fangraphs Baseball. Retrieved December 30, 2013.
- "Willie Mac Award Winners". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
- Shea, John (February 2, 2007). "Matheny knows it's time to quit: Catcher felled by concussions". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved August 14, 2013.
- Giants mailbag: Steep price for Zito? MLB.com
- "Career Leaders & Records for Fielding Percentage as Catcher". Baseball-reference.com. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
- Strauss, Joe (November 14, 2011). "Cards hire Matheny as manager". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
- "St. Louis Cardinals name Mike Matheny new manager". ESPN. Associated Press. November 14, 2011. Retrieved December 23, 2013.
- Langosch, Jenifer. "Matheny doesn't have to break sweat in first win". Retrieved April 5, 2012.
- "Cubs win in 10 to end Cards' run of 13 straight winning series". Retrieved April 25, 2012.
- "Mike Matheny managerial record". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved January 11, 2014.
- Langosch, Jenifer (February 14, 2013). "Cards extend Mozeliak, pick up Matheny's option". MLB.com.
- Bauman, Mike (November 20, 2013). "Extending Mike Matheny's contract is a St. Louis Cardinals no-brainer". MLB.com.
- Nowak, Joey (November 20, 2013). "Cardinals extend manager Mike Matheny's contract through 2017 season". MLB.com.
- "NL All-Stars (3) at AL All-Stars (5)". Baseball-Reference. July 15, 2014. Retrieved August 30, 2015.
- Petrella, Steve. "With postseason clinched, Cards head to Wrigley". MLB.com. MLB Advanced Media, LP. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
- "2014 St. Louis Cardinals batting, pitching, & fielding statistics". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
- Langosch, Jenifer (May 5, 2015). "Cards off to best start in modern franchise history". MLB.com. stlouis.cardinals.mlb.com. Retrieved May 5, 2015.
- Langosch, Jenifer; Muskat, Carrie (May 5, 2015). "Wild 1st sets tone as Cards win 7th straight". MLB.com. stlouis.cardinals.mlb.com. Retrieved May 5, 2015.
- "Cubs (4) at Cardinals (7)". Baseball-Reference.com. May 5, 2015. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
- Fox Sports Network (May 18, 2015). "Cardinals top Tigers for Matheny's 300th win". FOX Sports. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
- Goold, Derrick (August 12, 2015). "Cards prospect Reyes sweeps 'Tools Triple Crown'". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
- Goold, Derrick (September 19, 2015). "Cards reach playoffs, but fall to Cubs, 5–4". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
- Langosch, Jenifer (September 19, 2015). "Cards become 1st team to clinch postseason spot". stlouis.cardinals.mlb.com. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
- Singer, Tom; Langosch, Jenifer (September 30, 2015). "Cards rout Bucs in Game 2 to clinch Central". MLB.com. Retrieved September 30, 2015.
- Goold, Derrick (September 30, 2015). "Cards clinch third consecutive division title, win 100th game". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved September 30, 2015.
- Chicago Tribune staff (October 13, 2015). "On to NLCS: Cubs finish off Cardinals at Wrigley Field". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved October 15, 2015.
- Berry, Adam (November 18, 2015). "Matheny runner-up for NL Manager of the Year: Skipper overcomes challenges to lead club to third straight division title". stlouis.cardinals.mlb.com. Retrieved November 19, 2015.
- Langosch, Jenifer (December 18, 2015). "Matheny, Rosenthal to be honored at St. Louis BBWAA dinner". stlouis.cardinals.mlb.com. Retrieved December 19, 2015.
- Goold, Derrick (May 27, 2016). "Garcia, Piscotty muscle Cards past Nationals". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved May 27, 2016.
- Ortíz, José de Jesús (May 1, 2018). "Matheny has come a long way in 1,000 games as Cardinals manager". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved May 2, 2018.
- Goold, Derrick (July 14, 2018). "Cardinals fire manager Mike Matheny". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved July 15, 2018.
- "St. Louis Cardinals release manager Mike Matheny". MLB. Retrieved July 14, 2018.
- "Mike Matheny". Baseball Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved May 2, 2018.
- "Cards rally in ninth, win on Yadi's walk-off". MLB.com. May 2, 2018.
- Hummel, Rick (October 26, 2015). "Matheny wins MAC award". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved October 28, 2015.
- "MSU's Matheny forging his own baseball name".
- Goold, Derrick. "Matheny still doesn't want Cards to draft his son".
- "OhioStateBuckeyes.com Katie Matheny Bio :: The Ohio State University Official Athletic Site The Ohio State University Official Athletic Site :: Women's Ice Hockey".
- "OSU Baseball Roster". okstate.com. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
- "About Mike Matheny". mikematheny.com. Retrieved January 11, 2014.
- McGregor, Jena (October 25, 2013). "The leadership smarts of Mike Matheny". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 11, 2014.
- Calcaterra, Craig (March 18, 2013). "Mike Matheny has a blog dedicated to changing the culture of youth sports". NBC Hardball Times. Retrieved December 2, 2013.
- "St. Louis Cardinals bring Christian faith on baseball field".
- "Special offer: Mike Matheny Cardinals '1st Win' Marlins Park". Big League Baseballs Forums. June 7, 2012. Retrieved August 14, 2013.
BigLeague Moderator: 'Mr. Matheny signs all items with some form of scripture reference inscription, I'm told.'
- Nolen, Casey. "Matheny loved for his work off the field". KSDK.
- Hunn, David (January 19, 2013). "Cardinals manager Mike Matheny owes millions after losing legal fight". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved December 2, 2013.
- Pollout, Matthew (November 19, 2011). "New Cardinals manager Mike Matheny lost his dreamhouse, faces lawsuit". NBC Sports.
- Wagman, Jake (November 20, 2011). "Matheny lost his home in legal fight with bank over business". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mike Matheny.|