To the Editor:
There is so much talk and everyone has an opinion about Mike Matheny being fired. The news follows all of it, the good and the bad.
Let’s remember the man and his abilities and his kindness.
He was a great catcher for the Cardinals in his youth, and we all watched and admired that talent for several years.
He learned to speak fluent Spanish, which helped our foreign men feel welcome when they were drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals. You could tell in his speaking and watching him in the dugout, he had so much respect and friendship with the players. He had been in their shoes, and knew the responsibility and hard work it was to be a major league baseball player.
Personally, I remember, with tears still in my eyes when I think of it, being in Chesterfield Valley on the day he opened the baseball field he had sponsored and funded for children with disabilities. He gave a beautiful short speech, not bragging, but explaining his mission.
Shortly after that, several school buses drove up and children poured onto that field with laughter and smiles. I will never never forget that sight. He welcomed them and, a short while later, it was announced: “Let’s Play Ball!” And they did.
My husband and I and our friends sat through the entire game with our hearts pumping 100 beats per minute. We were so elated. I so remember one little boy on second base in a wheelchair, and being there was the thrill of his life. I am sure they all enjoyed that field many times, and to this day it is there. I hope it still is being used.
Mike was not playing for the Cardinals at that time and had played for other teams. I am not sure if he even lived here at that time, as was after his retirement.
I am sure many of you also have fond memories of Mike. Let’s remember those.
Greta Clark Corkhill