Nov 15, 2019
A “High School Biology Teacher” wins MLB Manager Award… plus
Mike Shildt could be mistaken for “a High School biology teacher” … or he might be “Assistant Manager of an Ace Hardware store in Kannapolis” … or maybe “that other barber in Floyd’s Barber Shop in Mayberry”… or …
Put Mike Shildt in a Big League uniform and put him on the top step of a MLB dugout surrounded by 25 of the 700 best baseball players on Earth. He looks like “a lucky fan” who won some goofy promotion to be “Manager For An Inning”. … Do NOT try to convince anyone that:
Mike Shildt is … (1) One of only 30 men on Earth who IS a Major League Baseball Manager … OR … (2) The 2019 National League Manager of The Year.
… BUT HE IS!
NOTE: I really enjoy following Baseball … Major League Baseball in particular… and The St Louis Cardinals are “My Team”. I own three caps, two t-shirts and a hoodie with the iconic “Birds on The Bat”. I do not Live / Die by their on-field exploits; but I do pay $120/year to watch 150+ of their games on MLB.tv. 2020 will be my 4th season doing so.
I have “liked” Mike Shildt from the day he was introduced as Cardinals Manager in July 2018. Back then I did not know his Charlotte background, his career path, or what a unique personality he is within America’s Professional Sports Scene. Since I learned all that… I Really Like Mike Shildt.
At 51, he is one of only 3-4 Managers in MLB History who never played an inning of professional baseball... at any level. His highest player level was as a utility infielder at UNC-Asheville in the mid 80s. There have been a number of prominent MLB managers who never made it to the Big Leagues as a player… but DID play in the minors. Tommy Lasorda and Joe Maddon are two notable examples.
To save time… here is Mike Shildt’s Baseball Resume …. LINK.
Mike Shildt became “an Overnight Success” after only 20 years of long bus rides in Baseball’s bush leagues.
Cardinals Fans call themselves BFIBs – “Best Fans In Baseball” – which is an arbitrary designation. They turn-out 40,000 strong for most of 82 Home games in Busch Stadium… totaling in excess of 3,000,000+/ year for many years. Only the LA Dodgers have a higher annual average attendance… IF one counts Dodger fans who show up around the 3rd inning and leave at the 7th inning stretch.
BFIBs rarely, if ever, Boo… and always welcome former Cardinals who return to Busch Stadium in a visitor’s uniform. Cardinals # of World Championships trail only The Yankees and BFIBs expect a Playoff Contender EVERY SEASON.
StanMusial is an official Diety within KMOX’s 50,000 watt blowtorch signal “from Moline to Memphis along The Mighty Mississippi”. Thru the Heart of Fly-Over Country and especially In The Shadow of The Gateway Arch, Cardinals Baseball “matters” to a lot of folks …
THAT is why it so remarkable that Lib Shildt’s son Mike – a lifetime “Baseball Nerd” – is “Skipper” of one of Baseball’s Legendary Franchises. This story would be cool if Mike was managing The Rays or Marlins or The Durham Bulls… but he is managing THE ST LOUIS CARDINALS! … Boy Oh Boy… I do wish Clyde King was still around to talk with him about Mike Shildt.
I’ve never met “Manager Mike”. My only connection is Mike coached Wes Buck on the West Charlotte Junior Varsity in the late 80s. Wes is the oldest son of P. Coleman Buck, long time “of counsel” for SaidWhatMedia.com.
The man Mike replaced 18 months ago – Mike Matheny – had been an MLB catcher for 15 years… holding a dubious record for “most concussions”.
Where Mike Shildt looks like “a high school biology teacher… Mike Matheny looks like “the DI that meets the new recruits bus arriving at Parris Island”. Matheny was “successful” until he wasn’t any more. His was a Fate common among “Skippers” in MLB. Such a fate may await “Manager Mike” some day… but not these days.
That Mike Shildt got the job was amazing… that in his first full season he was named NL Manager of The Year is off-the-charts AWESOME. His mother – Lib – passed away a week or so before the award was announced but she knew her son had achieved The Impossible Dream.
In one of my “other lives” I was, for several years, the host for NFL, NBA and MLB teams staying at The Crown Center Hotel in Kansas City. I got to know a number of pro sports executives and staff. … “there was this one time that Billy Martin, Reggie Jackson and Howard Cossell got into …”, but thats a story for another day.
If I were meeting The Cardinals, and didn’t know better, I would think Mike Shildt was the Traveling Secretary or maybe “the PR Guy”. … but Mike Shildt is The Man.
That “Good Neighbor Mike” can successfully command an MLB clubhouse and a dugout of high-ego / highly paid professional athletes… without ever having been one… is freaky unbelievable. Gotta Luv It!
A Final Note: By my unofficial count, 76% of BFIBs cannot spell “Shildt”. They insist on sticking a “c” after the “S”. FWIW… The Cardinals’ record is 94.6% butchering “Red Schoendienst”! WHOA!
Not unlike UNC Tru-Blues who could never spell “Doherty” or “Guthridge”. A lot of Wuffs likely mess up “Doeren” too I bet.
Raise your hand if you have ever heard of BabylonBee.com ?
BabylonBee.com is THE BEST Satire Website on The Internet.
“Satire” is defined as… the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.
I like to think I am “clever” . My Official Internet Legend certificate even says – BobLee is a Very Clever Fellow. Popular Synonyms for “clever” are “smart-aleck” and “wise-guy”. To whatever degree I am clever… I Do Know Clever when I see it. BabylonBee.com is Clever on steroids.
Some might perceive that The Bee has a decided political bias. Since I really like the site… you might guess which way their “political bias” might lean. It probably is guilty to a degree. The site goes after America’s Most Absurd Socio-Cultural Proclivities with a chainsaw and a sledge hammer.
It is 2019 and “politics” has oozed it’s way into every nook & cranny of our existence, so there are political targets of their WHAMMO! If such might offend you, please totally disregard My Recommendation to Check It Out.
FWIW… “The Christian Right” also gets its fair share of well-deserved jibes from TheBee. I receive their daily email update and often pass them on to likely appreciators of “that form of humor”.
FWIW #2 … there are UPDATES on our Favorite Books page… Check those out too.