St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny

(Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports)

Mike Matheny Becomes Winningest Cardinals Manager Through First 1,000 Games

With the first pitch Tuesday night, he is better than La Russa, Herzog, Schoendienst and the rest of them.

May 01, 2018 - 5:30 pm

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Mike Matheny says the moment was just too special last night, he had to celebrate his soon-to-be milestone about 24-hours early with family and friends. 

The St. Louis Cardinals manager enjoyed a cake, made by his daughter, with "1,000 games" written on it to commemorate what will happen with the first pitch of Tuesday's game against the Chicago White Sox. Matheny will become just the 4th manager in Cardinals history to manager at least 1,000 MLB games. He joins Tony La Russa, Whitey Herzog and Red Schoendienst on that list. 

"Those are people, as you all know, are high on my respect list," Matheny says. "And people I think the world of."

He says he's doing all he can to stop, take a breath, and think about what that means in Cardinals and baseball history. But first he enjoyed the cake. 

"She knows I like chocolate, so it was kinda like a Ding Dong, that's kind of my deal," Matheny says, describing the cake made by his daughter.

Not only has Matheny outlasted many who have previously been in his position, but his record says he's also been better than anyone. Through 1,000 regular season games, his .560 winning percentage is better than any previous Cardinals manager through his first 1,000 games.

"I learn something new every time I get the pleasure of putting on this uniform," Matheny says. "I don't know if I ever had an idea of how many games I'd be able to do it, but I've enoyed them."

He says the best part of his job is the people he works with, each day getting to help someone with something new.

"Sometimes it's nothing about the game of baseball," Matheny says. "But to me it has always been about the people and always will be."

And the most challenging part?

"When it doesn't work it hangs with you and hurts deeper than anything I could have imagined," Matheny says. "But when you get it right the same thing can be said."