(Busch Stadium) The interim tag has been removed as the St. Louis Cardinals have officially announced Mike Shildt as their manager, signing him to a new contract which runs through the 2020 season.
“What a privilege and blessing it is to be the field manager on a permanent basis for the St. Louis Cardinals moving forward,” began Shildt. “It’s not something I take lightly and it’s something I very deeply have gratitude for.”
Since Shildt took over after Mike Matheny was dismissed on July 15th, the team has posted a record of 26-12 and have the most wins in all of MLB since the All-Star break.
“Really, everything we could have hoped for has occurred,” said Bill DeWitt Jr. “The team has certainly turned around. Not just winning games, winning series, getting us back into the race–it’s an exciting time to be watching the Cardinals, but in other ways. Mike has done a great job as the interim manager and we’re convinced he’ll do a great job as the full-time manager, hopefully well into the future.”
A member of the Cardinals organization since 2004, Shildt had served on the team’s Major League coaching staff the past two seasons. He began as an area scout, but later moved to the managerial role for eight seasons in the Cardinals farm system.
“Shildty came to me a couple of years into his scouting career and asked if we would entertain putting him in uniform,” recalled John Mozeliak. “My first thoughts were like, ‘hmmm, I’m not sure if that’s a great idea’. But he challenged me, he pushed for it, and when you think back over that time, how much he’s grown and how much he’s learned, and he’s had great mentors in this game. Relying on people like George Kissell, Tony La Russa, and Mark DeJohn. All these people helped shape him.
“I think with just an enormous amount of pride of having someone come up through your organization and to rise to this level is just something that I think is remarkable and special.”
“We got a lot of feedback from our players, our coaches–everyone has endorsed him,” continued Mozeliak. “So when you ask the question ,why now? It made sense to do it now because everything is going well but more importantly, the momentum behind our players and our staff. After Girsch, Bill, and I discussed it, we knew it made sense.”
Shildt helped lead his clubs to Johnson City to Appalachian League championships in 2010 and 2011 before moving on to Springfield of the Texas League (AA) in 2012 and then in 2016 to Memphis of the Pacific Coast League (AAA).
photo credit: Brian Stull/STLBaseballWeekly.com