Cardinals manager Mike Matheny. (US Presswire)
(Ed. note: Read Part 1 of the 'Matheny Manifesto' story here)
By Ryan Dean
ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - Mike Matheny never thought his philosophy on coaching little leaguers would be coined the "Matheny Manifesto." His five-page letter on baseball etiquette directed towards parents has now been seen by thousands.
"A couple of years later that letter hit the Internet; I don't know how, but people started responding to it," Matheny said before a weekend game at Busch Stadium.
His push to change the culture of youth sports has resonated with people all over the country.
"I don't think I have been to a city this year or last year where I didn't have someone come out of the stands and say something, no matter where we play... I've had people come up to me and say our whole organization has bought into this."
Pro ball players are also buying in. Matheny said his message in this manifesto translates in the big leagues. Of course there are differences; in the majors, it's a job that comes with big money and big pressure but when it comes to playing the game the right way and focusing on a player's character, Matheny said it's the same.
"I started early on in spring; we started talking about what is important to us coming together as a club. We had all of our leaders, this spring and last year, come up and they would say something that was real important to them whether it be about family or the family on this club, how they treat each other, how they go about competing on the field," he said.
After his Manifesto became popular online, Matheny's friends challenged him to do more with it. That led him to start www.mikematheny.com, where he gives advice to parents and coaches. The goal he said is not to get the child to the major leagues, but to make an impact on his or her life.
"To me, I think the greatest reward for a youth coach would be that these kids come back in 20 years and say, 'Hey, you were one of the most influential people in my life.'"