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The Matheny Manifesto: A Young Manager's Old-School Views on Success in Sports and Life Hardcover – February 3, 2015

4.8 out of 5 stars 384 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Beautifully readable and morally meaty.” Christianity Today

“Mike Matheny has some tremendous lessons for coaches but mostly for parents…. You’ve got to know someone who could use this book. You’ve got to know 10 people who could use this book. They’ll thank you for getting it.” –Peter King

[The Matheny Manifesto] should be read by every parent of every youth league player in this country.Providence Journal 

"Lots of coaches write inspirational books, but this one has a lot of interesting stuff in it...It's an important book." —Mike Francesa

"A must read for parents, coaches, teachers all who work with young people" —Jim Harbaugh

“[T]his book should be read by anybody who coaches a kids team, as well as the parents of those kids.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"Every parent who has a son or daughter that plays sports, dances, plays in the band, is in theater, or does anything as team or group, must read The Matheny Manifesto." —Quad-Cities Online, The Dispatch

“You win, or in this case, lose, with class.  With integrity.  You play hard.  You play smart.  You respect yourself, your teammates, your opponents, and your craft.  It’s a game and it should be fun.  It’s a business, and those realities are there, too.  But it can be more than just that.  It can, at least for some, be an expression of principles…. In many ways, Matheny’s still new, but already extremely successful, tenure with the Cardinals is an ongoing example of those principles writ large.”
—From the afterword by Bob Costas
The Matheny Manifesto illustrates a perspective we need not only in youth sports, but in our culture as a whole. By teaching the importance of respect, character, and a team-first approach, Mike Matheny gives our kids, and those who set an example for them, a positive outlook on healthy competition—and demonstrates how the most powerful lessons of baseball apply to their futures beyond the diamond.”
—Joe Torre
“Readers agree there are ‘must read ‘ books.  The Matheny Manifesto, inspired by Mike's letter is one and much more. After you read it, you ‘must consider’  and then  ‘must act’ on its core principles—principles that benefit coaches, parents, success seekers, and especially young players.”
—Tony La Russa
“I once told Mike Matheny that if I ever became a big league manager, I’d want to manage just like he does. The Matheny Manifesto will show you why. Mike approaches the game as the ultimate competitor, but totally with class and dignity.”
—Orel Hershiser, Los Angleles Dodgers broadcaster, 18-year big league pitcher, Cy Young Award winner, World Series champion
The Matheny Manifesto is mandatory reading for coaches, parents, and athletes of every age. The book is packed with winning insights and practical advice for all to use. A powerful read!”
Pat Williams, Orlando Magic co-founder and senior vice president

About the Author

Mike Matheny played thirteen years as a catcher for four Major League teams, won four Gold Gloves, and holds the MLB record for most consecutive games without an error; 2015 will mark his fourth year as manager of the St. Louis Cardinals. Matheny led the Cardinals to the postseason in each of his first three campaigns, winning the National League pennant in 2013. He and his wife, Kristin, are the parents of five and live in St. Louis. For more about Mike’s Catch 22 Foundation, and to keep up with his blog, visit www.MikeMatheny.com.
Jerry B. Jenkins is the author of twenty New York Times bestsellers, including the Left Behind series. His writing has appeared in Time, Reader’s Digest, Parade, Guideposts, and dozens of Christian periodicals. He has collaborated on as-told-to autobiographies by Hank Aaron, Orel Hershiser, Walter Payton, Nolan Ryan, Mike Singletary, and Billy Graham. For more information about Jerry, visit www.JerryJenkins.com.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Archetype (February 3, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 055344669X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553446692
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (384 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,858 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In his book, The Matheny Manifesto, Mike Matheny shares his thoughts on coaching baseball. I’ve coached youth softball for a few years, and have a few years to go. From that aspect I found this book outstanding. But, more importantly I think, it is just as good from the perspective of a parent, regardless of whether that parent has ever coached anything.

Mr. Matheny’s own parents and coaches believed that character is more important than winning. And he, in turn, wants to pass that on to those he coaches, whether they are on his youth baseball team or in the major leagues:

“Our role as coaches is not just to build up the scoreboard but also to build up our players so that they become character-filled leaders who will have an impact on those around them.”

Matheny writes a lot about his own baseball career. His book goes back and forth between sports biography and coaching philosophy. To me, his most interesting stories are from his days at home, when he and his brothers played outside until after dark. (His dad put lights up in the yard so they could keep on even after the sun when down.) Least interesting are the stories from the major leagues. But all of the stories get back to the same theme: instilling values through sports.

What I most appreciate is the straightforward advice to parents, advice which Matheny reinforces with stories of the kind of dad his own father was:

“My dad would put in long hours operating heavy machinery….He’d come home covered with dirt, and you could tell all he wanted to do was get cleaned up and relax. But he would always grab a glove and go play catch with me and my brother or throw batting practice for us. He never turned us down.
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Format: Hardcover
Let me start off by saying that I am a true blue Los Angeles Dodgers fan. The St. Louis Cardinals have been a thorn in the Dodger’s side for years. Both organizations are successful and respected. In my life time the Dodgers have faced the Cardinals in the postseason five times, the Dodgers have lost four of the five match ups. Therefore, I know the risk I was running being a Dodger fan, reading a book by the current Cardinal manager, Mike Matheny.

All joking aside, I have a lot of respect for the Cardinals. I have a lot of respect for Tony LaRussa and I have read two books about his baseball managing career. Matheny had some big shoes to fill in 2012, when LaRussa led the Cardinals back from their final strike (twice) to win the World Series, but he has succeeded taking the Cardinals to the playoffs each season as manager.

When Matheny was chosen as manager of the reigning World Series team, many were puzzled. Matheny had no managerial experience. He was only six years removed from his playing career, which was shut down abruptly by health issues relating to recurring concussion symptoms.

But Matheny is strong leader with strong values. Ultimately, The Matheny Manifesto is an account of Matheny’s values that he integrates into his life. The manifesto originated when he was asked to manage youth baseball. Not wanting to be like every other little league coach, Matheny wrote out demands for himself, his staff, his players, and most importantly, the parents. He wanted to create a team of character. He wanted to create a team known for integrity and hard work. He did not care about winning. Winning happens when you do everything right.

This is a great book. It should be required reading for anyone thinking about coach youth sports.
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Format: Hardcover
NOTE: I was sent a pre-release review copy of The Matheny Manifesto with no expectation of review. However, I was so impressed with the book, I knew I would write a review in hope that more people would be exposed to his philosophy and principles of coaching and life.

I was pleasantly surprised by The Matheny Manifesto by Mike Matheny. I was sent a review copy, but the book is not of a genre I would usually read. However, since the publisher was kind enough to send me the book, I decided I would read it.

I assumed the book was a biography. While Matheny uses experience from his journey through baseball to illustrate how his coaching style has been formed and shaped, the book really isn't a biography. The book outlines Matheny's view on coaching, youth sports, parental involvement, and what it means to be successful in sports and life.

I have not followed baseball since around 1990 or so. Some of the names Matheny refers to were familiar, but many were not. Knowing more about the sport would have been helpful, but knowledge of current baseball players isn't needed. So, do not think you need to be a baseball fan to enjoy this book.

I highly recommend this book to anybody who has kids or grand kids in sports, coaches who want to win with class, or anyone who is interested in how Matheny was able to incorporate his faith in his coaching. Matheny is spot on in his assessment of how we play sports, teach sports, and watch sports. We need more coaches and parents who embrace his "Manifesto" and the way he approaches coaching and sports.

The section concerning umpires had the greatest impact on me. I am not always quiet when I sit in the stands and if I believe the ref missed something, I will let him or her know.
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