I bought this book because I have been a life-long St. Louis Cardinal fan. Mike Matheny took over as the manager of the Cardinals in 2012 with almostI bought this book because I have been a life-long St. Louis Cardinal fan. Mike Matheny took over as the manager of the Cardinals in 2012 with almost no experience managing professionally. Mike was a catcher in the major leagues for 13 years until a concussion ended his playing days. Five of his best playing years was with the St. Louis Cardinals during 2000 - 2004 seasons.
I knew very little about Matheny until I picked up this book. He was born in West Virginia and raised near Columbus, Ohio. He was drafted out of high school by the Toronto Bluejays but chose to attend college at the University of Michigan. He was drafted a second time by the Milwaukee Brewers where he spent the first 5 years of his professional career.
After Mike's playing career ended and he was searching for what to do with the rest of his life, he was asked to coach a Little League team. Before he accepted the position, he wrote a five page letter to the parents spelling out how he would manage and what he expected from them. Mike was not happy with the way youth sports was being played and would only manage if parents would let the coaches coach.
Someone posted Mike's letter on the internet and it went viral and gave him his 15 minutes of fame. He successfully created several Little League teams that behaved differently than other teams. The focus was on building character not winning.
I recommend this book to anyone who loves baseball as well as any parent who has a child in sports. What Matheny has to say may surprise you and even challenge your thinking. The book, co-written with Jerry Jenkins, is a fast read....more