By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Shildt has been named the National League Manager of the Year. He won the award in his first full season with the Cardinals after taking over the role in an in-season change in 2018.
Shildt received 95 total points on the ballot. He beat out Division rival, Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell, who was second with 88 points.
Atlanta Braves manager Brian Snitker rounded out the Top 3 with 45 points.
Shildt won the award with his mother in the hospital. According to ESPN, she told doctors she needed to be alive on Tuesday. His mother is in the final days of her life.
“She was emotional about knowing it was likely she wasn’t going to be here,” Shildt said. “I said, ‘You know what? You’re going to know before I am.’ It still hasn’t sunk in total and I don’t know if it ever will, ultimately, what that loss is going to feel like.’
“My mom was remarkable. [I’m] appreciative of the time and love she and my dad invested in me.”
The Cardinals finished the season with a 91-71 record. However, at the All-Star break, the team was just 44-44.
At that time, St. Louis was looking at four straight seasons without making the playoffs. The team then went 47-27 in the second half of the season.
With this remarkable second half, the team was able to beat out the Brewers and the Chicago Cubs to win the National League Central. The Cardinals won the NL Division Series in five games (3-2) over the Braves.
The Cardinals lost to the Washington Nationals in the NL Championship Series (4-0).
“I set my sights on being the best coach I could be, just like being the best player I could be, and the journey has led me here,” Shildt said.
Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, Nationals manager Dave Martinez, and Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo also received consideration. No manager was on every ballot.
This is just the second time they a Manager of the Year has won the honors despite not reviving the most first-place votes. Counsell received 13 first-place votes, while Shildt received 10.
The first-time this happened was in the American League in 1995. Seattle Mariners manager Lou Piniellq won the award; however, he had just nine first-pace votes.
Boston Red Sox manager Kevin Kennedy had the most first-place votes with 11. Piniellq won the award with 86 points.
Shildt is also the first Manager of the Year, who does not have previously playing experience at a professional level. He is also the eighth winner, who never played in the Major League.
The others include Jim Leyland, Joe Maddon, Buck Showalrer, Jack McKeon, Jim Frey, John McNamara, and Snitker.
Shildt is the third Cardinals manager to win the honors. Tony La Russa won the award in 2002, while Whitey Herzog won it in 1985.
Counsell was the runner-up for the second straight year. This is the fourth time in National League history that this has happened.