The St. Louis Cardinals announced Tuesday that Mike Shildt will have the interim tag removed and become the team’s full-time manager.
Shildt received a three-year deal, which will cover the remainder of this season and the 2019 and 2020 campaigns, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Shildt, 50, took over the team on July 15, one game before the All-Star break, when previous manager Mike Matheny was fired. The team announced at the time that it would begin a search at the end of the season for its next manager.
“This is not something I take lightly,” Shildt said at a press conference. “I’m very grateful for my family. I grew up in a clubhouse around baseball. I got my ABCs of baseball at an early age. ... I have been given a lot of credit for what’s happened in the past six weeks. I appreciate it, but I cannot accept it.”
The Cardinals were 47-46 when Shildt took over, 7 1/2 games out of the National League Central lead and behind a jumble of teams fighting for wild-card spots. Since then, they’ve gone an NL-best 26-12, entering Tuesday with a half-game lead for the first wild card, while sitting 4 1/2 games back of the Chicago Cubs for the division lead. St. Louis has won nine consecutive series.
“Enormous amount of pride of having someone coming up through your organization and rise to this level is special,” said Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak. “Why now? It made sense to do it now. Everything is going well, and more importantly momentum is building behind our players. Having Mike Shildt as manager is a tremendous story. I hope the next chapter is even better.”
Shildt has been in the Cardinals’ organization since joining the team as an area scout in 2007. He became the Cardinals’ third base coach midway through the 2017 season and moved to bench coach to open 2018.
“We are pleased to name Mike Shildt as the St. Louis Cardinals manager,” Cardinals chairman and CEO Bill DeWitt Jr. said in a statement. “Mike is a veteran member of the Cardinals organization who has demonstrated strong leadership and coaching traits, formed by his many years of experience in the game, including his 15 years in the Cardinals system.
“The team’s focused, high-level style of play under Mike is a standard that his teams consistently displayed during his prior years in the minors, and it has continued here at the Major League level.”
—Field Level Media