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Cardinals MLB Baseball Managers

Updated on March 4, 2021
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Carolan is a St. Louis native raised on Cardinals baseball and Busch Stadium. GO Redbirds!

MLB Managers - STL Cardinals

The St. Louis Cardinals have been blessed with some of the absolute BEST managers in the history of baseball.

Some believe that the fact that the Cardinals have consistently remained a top team in the MLB over many decades has much to do with the talent of their exceptional team managers. Among them are Red Schoentist, Whitey Herzog and Tony LaRussa. Here we take a closer look over many decades at Cardinals baseball managers.

Mike Matheny replaced Tony LaRussa as the MLB Cardinals manager in 2012. Just on the heels of the epic 2011 postseason run and World Series win for the Cardinals came the announcement of the retirement of Tony LaRussa. Matheny was selected among a huge pool of talent and that decision has raised much controversial discussion, mainly because of his complete lack of experience as a MLB manager.

Featured Cardinals MLB Managers:

Mike Matheny

Tony LaRussa

Whitey Herzog

Red Schoendienst

Mike Matheny, MLB Baseball Manager for Cardinals 2012-2019

While Matheny has a strong past in a Cardinal uniform and is highly admired by players and fans, many were surprised he was chosen as the new manager for the Redbirds. The main reason for controversy over this decision is the fact that Mike Matheny has zilch experience as manager of a MLB team.

Matheny has been an exceptional MLB catcher for 13 years, a multiple Golden Glove winner very highly respected by teammates, peers and fans. Supporters of Matheny do have reason to believe he demonstrates leadership skills deserving of a manager's position. Also Matheny and his family have been part of St. Louis for over 20 years, therefore he's firmly sewn in to the fabric of the town as a community.

The issue that Matheny has had no formal coaching or managerial experience on the professional level anywhere does raise eyebrows as a legitimate question or concern. Maybe the Cardinals needed to make sure that they chose a guy who can tone down the ego and not insist on being a know-it-all.

Rather than recycle older and more experienced candidates, Matheny might be considered more of a fresh start, one who is humble enough to learn with the team and handle the unlikely challenge of authority from team mates or fellow managers. Either way, the fact that Matheny led the Cardinals to postseason in 2012 says he's got what it takes. Cardinal Nation approved of Mike Matheny!

He was hired by the KC Royals in 2019.

There's not many atmospheres like it. These fans love their game and the Cardinals love playing in front of them."

— Mike Matheny

Tony La Russa Career Highlights

  • Managed teams to SIX league championships and THREE World Series Championships
  • Ranks 3rd in MLB wins by a manager and 2nd in post-season MLB wins all-time.
  • First manager ever in MLB to win Manager of the Year award FOUR times!"

Quotes about Larussa as MLB Manager

  • Tony has a knack that is rare in managers. He can be friendly with his players and he can be a disciplinarian. He can talk with a player about a mistake and not make it seem like he's jumping on him."
  • Tony has a knack that is rare in managers. He can be friendly with his players and he can be a disciplinarian. He can talk with a player about a mistake and not make it seem like he's jumping on him." ~ Jerry Koosman
  • "As a manager he was always three innings ahead. A lot of times he would make a move in a game that I didn't understand and which I thought was pretty dumb. Later, I would ask him about it, and after our discussion I thought I was the idiot." ~ Jerry Reinsdorf
  • "He loves the game, he respects it. He loves the players. He is relentless in competing. He won't let up, no matter what." ~ Jim Leyland

Red Schoendienst - Cardinals MLB Manager 1965-1976

Red Schoendienst enjoyed record-breaking MLB stats mostly as a player, and coninued his career in baseball as coach and then manager for the Cardinals for 11 seasons.

He was a coach for the Cardinals in the early 60s, then Johnny Keane resigned the day following the Cardinals' 1964 World Series victory over the Yankees, and Schoendienst was named as his replacement.

"He has the greatest pair of hands

I've ever seen."

— Stan Musial about Red Schoendienst

Whitey Herzog as MLB Manager

"Whiteyball" Baseball Strategy:

Fans referred to Whitey's strategy an "Whiteyball" referring to his strategy that concentrated on pitching, speed, and defense to win games rather than on home runs.

Herzog's lineups generally consisted of more base-stealing threats than home run threats. That's "Whiteyball" at its best!

In 2009 the number 24 was retired as Whitey was elected to the MLB hall of Fame.

Herzog was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2009. At that time the Cardinals retired the number 24 which Whitey wore as manager. Rick Ankiel was the last player to wear that number on the Cardinals team.

Which of these featured St. Louis Cardinal managers might you choose as the best ever?

See results

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Carolan Ross


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