(BaseballStL) — The 2013 Cardinals made an improbable run at the World Series, leaning on rookie pitching, timely hitting and a young manager to face Boston in the Fall Classic.
Though they would fall in Game 6, the Cardinals took an unlikely N.L. pennant back to St. Louis. Tuesday night they were honored at Busch Stadium, as the pennant was raised and the rings presented. For Mike Matheny, 2013’s run means the most.
“I am going to be wearing this one,” he said when asked if he wears his rings. “My fingers have been busted up pretty bad so they don’t hold rings very well, but I’m going to make sure this one stays with me.”
The 43-year-old former catcher earned a similar prize in 2004 when the Cardinals won the N.L., and says other awards earned as a player were treated differently than his managerial ring.
“As a player, it was something I put in a special place so people could see it. I don’t know why exactly, I think a lot of it was I wanted to be motivated about getting that next one,” he said. “I think that’s kind of why I want to wear this one. It’s something special.”
Many on the St. Louis roster tasted success early, certainly earlier than their manager. For a few, their first taste of MLB action ended in the World Series. Because of that, Matheny made sure to emphasize the solemnity of Tuesday's moment to his young players.
“When you see that banner get raised, it’s a big deal. I want these guys to realize it’s a big deal,” he said. ”It’s a big deal to me to what we were able to accomplish last year, but it’s also a good reminder to that we had one step left.”