St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny

(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

Cardinals Manager Shares Special Father, Son Moment At Home Plate

February 27, 2018 - 4:35 pm

FORT MYERS, Fla. (KMOX) - There were three generations of Matheny's at Jet Blue Park, Tuesday. Mike Matheny managing the St. Louis Cardinals, his son Tate Matheny playing center field for the Boston Red Sox, and Ryker Matheny, Tate's son and Mike's grandson was in the stands. 

Before the game, the Red Sox's first-year manager Alex Cora surprised his Cardinals counterpart and had Tate Matheny deliver the lineup card to officials. 

It took some pre-planning by Cora to pull off the moment. Tate Matheny, 24, was not invited to Boston's big-league spring training camp, but was invited to Tuesday's game and even entered the game to play center field in the seventh inning. In the eighth, Tate Matheny was walked on four pitches by Jake Woodford. Mike Matheny says during that at bat, pitching coach Mike Maddux leaned over to him and asked if it was O.K. if he was rooting for Woodford in that situation.

"I said, 'I don't know, I am,'" Matheny says. 

Matheny did get serious and talked about the moment. 

"How many people have been able to have a moment like that? Even though it is spring training, it's rare. I mean you start counting some of the father-son things and it doesn't happen very often," Matheny says. "Whether it's my position or any other position in uniform, when you're out there and your kid is there, that's something that he's been dreaming about for a long time and he just loves the game so it's fun to see him doing what he loves to do and being recoginized for how he does it."

Cora reportedly told media that Tate Matheny will start in center field on Friday, when St. Louis hosts Boston at Roger Dean Stadium. He was drafted by Boston in the fifth round of the 2015 draft out of Missouri State.

Matheny and Cora have a previous history. It was Matheny's first year managing the Cardinals in 2012 and St. Louis signed Cora to a contract that included an invite to spring training. Matheny says when they shared a clubhouse, Tate was "boucning around here" and hanging out with the players. 

Then after the Cardinals 6-1 victory, both father and son signed some autographs together.