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.