MLB

1 Reason Why Mike Shildt’s Friday Is Better Than Yours

The Cardinals tied the Mets on Thursday. And then St. Louis manager Mike Shildt planned to tie the knot on Friday. Shildt, 51, who is entering his second full season skippering the Cardinals, is marrying fiancée Michelle Segrave in Jupiter, Florida.

No better time or place for a baseball man to get married

Getting married in the middle of spring training may seem odd but Mike Shildt and his bride-to-be decided it was the perfect time and place since so many of the people they were inviting to the ceremony would be in Florida at this time of the year anyway. One look at their wedding registry — pillows, fitted sheets, and wine glasses – shows Shildt and Segrave are practical in that sort of way.

The timing for the wedding worked because the St. Louis Cardinals were able to clear out a day on the schedule for their manager by playing two spring-tune-ups on Thursday, with Shildt pulling double duty.

The Cardinals tied the New York Mets 7-7 in Jupiter, Florida, as pitcher Adam Wainwright was hit hard in four innings of work but shortstop Paul DeJong smashed his fourth home run of the spring. In the other game, Carlos Martinez threw five innings of three-hit ball as St. Louis blanked the Washington Nationals 11-0.

Cardinals players will get in some of their usual work Friday but won’t be attending their manager’s wedding.

“These guys know I love them. But one of the ways you show love is (for them) not to feel they’ve got to go to their manager’s wedding on a day off. That was my gift to them.”

Cardinals manager Mike Shildt

Mike Shildt has worked his way through the system

Mike Shildt’s ascension to the major leagues as a manager didn’t follow the conventional path in that he never played baseball beyond his college career at North Carolina-Asheville.

His climb to the St. Louis Cardinals bench began with coaching a North Carolina high school to its first winning season in two decades, which helped Shildt land a job as an assistant coach at North Carolina-Charlotte.

His first job at the professional level wasn’t on the field but rather as a scout for Major League Baseball for three years. Shildt then latched on with the St. Louis Cardinals as a regional scout before being recommended as a part-time coach for the organization’s farm team in the New York-Penn League in 2004-05.

He became a full-time coach in the organization in 2006 and was given the additional responsibility of coordinating the Cardinals’ spring training camp in 2008.

Shildt’s first managerial job was in 2009 in the short-season Appalachian League, where his Johnson City team when championships in his second and third seasons to earn him a promotion to Class AA Springfield in the Texas League, where he managed yet another champion.

Shildt worked his way up to manager of the Class AAA Memphis Redbirds in 2015 and then got his promotion to the majors in 2017 as the Cardinals’ quality-control coach.

Battlefield promotions and success in St. Louis

Mike Shildt took over as the St. Louis Cardinals’ third-base coach during the 2017 season and was named the bench coach the following spring. He then became interim manager when Mike Matheny was fired on July 14, 2018. The interim tag was removed less than seven weeks later and the eighth man in MLB history to manage without having played professionally was given a three-year contract.

Following his 41-28 record in place of Matheny in 2018, Shildt guided the Cardinals to a 91-71 record in his first full season. St. Louis reached the National League Championship Series, where the Cardinals were swept by the Washington Nationals.