KANSAS CITY, Missouri — The Kansas City Royals Thursday announced Mike Matheny has been named the 17th full-time manager in franchise history.
“Our entire organization is delighted to announce and celebrate the hiring of Mike Matheny,” Dayton Moore, Royals Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager, said. “Every department has had the pleasure to work and interact with him this past season. Through this interaction, it became very clear to our leadership team that Mike is the obvious person to lead our baseball team. Mike Matheny is a passionate leader with strong virtues, intelligence, and a relentless commitment to help players reach their full potential. We are looking forward to him and Kristin being a part of this very special city.
“The strength of the relationship between Mr. Glass and Mr. Sherman allowed our leadership team to move forward in a natural way as we went through this very important process. I’m thankful for their support and guidance.”
John Sherman, the new owner-in-waiting of the Royals added: “I’ve been well-informed by Dayton and the leadership team about the material activities underway with the Club, and have been impressed with the thoughtful, strategic process Dayton has run to get to this important decision.”
Matheny, 49, managed over 1,000 games with the St. Louis Cardinals from 2012-18, his first managerial opportunity. He compiled a .555 winning percentage (591-474), while leading the Cards to a Wild Card berth in his first season (2012), then following up with three straight National League Central titles (2013-15), becoming the first manager to reach the postseason in each of his first four seasons. His clubs posted a winning record each year with St. Louis, including a Major League-best 100 victories in 2015. During his tenure, the Cardinals had the third-highest winning percentage in the Majors, behind only the Dodgers (.573) and Washington (.564). As of today, his 591 wins will open the 2020 season seventh among active managers in the Majors.
Matheny led the Cardinals to the World Series in 2013, falling to the Boston Red Sox, while reaching the National League Championship Series in 2012 and 2014, before bowing to the eventual World Series champion San Francisco Giants both seasons. He managed 43 postseason games with St. Louis, which are third-most in the Major Leagues since 2012, trailing only Houston’s AJ Hinch (50), and the Dodgers’ Dave Roberts (47). Matheny’s 21 postseason victories are fifth most in baseball over the last eight postseasons.
He was hired by the Royals as a Special Advisor to Player Development on Nov. 23, 2018, following his tenure as Cardinals’ manager. He served in a similar capacity with St. Louis (2007-11), prior to accepting the managerial position on November 14, 2011.
Matheny spent 13 seasons in the Major Leagues as a catcher, playing for Milwaukee (1994-98), Toronto (1999), St, Louis (2000-04) and San Francisco (2005-06). A defensive specialist, Matheny was a four-time Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner, while setting a Major League record with 252 consecutive errorless games and 1,565-straight errorless chances behind the plate, a mark which has since been broken.
A native of Columbus, Ohio, Matheny was a 1991 eighth-round selection by the Brewers out of the University of Michigan, after co-captaining the Wolverines’ baseball team. He and his wife, Kristin, have five children: Katie, Tate, Luke, Jacob and Blaise as well as one grandson, Ryker.