Mike Shildt Wins 2019 NL Manager of Year Award over Craig Counsell, More

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorNovember 12, 2019

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - OCTOBER 03: Mike Shildt #8 of the St. Louis Cardinals looks on prior to game one of the National League Division Series against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park on October 03, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

St. Louis Cardinals skipper Mike Shildt won the National League's Manager of the Year award after guiding the Redbirds to an NL Central title.

Shildt is the first manager of the year to have never played professionally (major leagues or minor leagues), per Tom Verducci on the MLB Network award ceremony broadcast.

The Baseball Writers' Association of America announced last Wednesday that Shildt, Atlanta Braves manager Brian Snitker and Milwaukee Brewers skipper Craig Counsell were the three finalists for the award.

Counsell had the most first-place votes with 13 of out a possible 30, but Shildt received the most overall points to win the honor, per Adam McCalvy of MLB.com.

Thirty baseball writers (two from each National League city) were tasked with placing their choices for NL manager of the year in first, second and third, with each receiving a designated number of points.

In the end, Shildt took home the well-deserved award.

The Cards dropped to 44-45 on July 12 after a 4-2 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks, but they proceeded to go 11-2 over their next 13 games to take a one-game lead in the division.

A 2-8 stretch once again dropped the Cards out of first, but Shildt guided St. Louis back to the top with a 33-16 mark to finish the season. The Cards barely held off the Milwaukee Brewers, who finished two games back.

Shildt took over for the fired Mike Matheny in July 2018. The 51-year-old led the 47-46 Cardinals to a 41-28 record to finish the season. The 88-74 mark was three games short of a tie in the wild-card standings, but Shildt brought promise for the future thanks to his impressive finish.

That's exactly what he did in 2019, as the Cardinals won the division and beat the Atlanta Braves in the National League Division Series. A four-game sweep at the hands of the Washington Nationals for the NL pennant ended the season, but the Cards still impressed considering their first-half performance.

Shildt, who signed a three-year contract with the Cardinals in August 2018, joined the organization in 2004 as a scout. The North Carolina native, who last played for UNC-Asheville, has eight years experience managing in the Cardinals' minor league system, doing so for the rookie-league, Double-A and Triple-A clubs. He got the call to The Show in 2017 and was the team's bench coach prior to Matheny's firing.

St. Louis will open the 2020 season against the Cincinnati Reds on March 26.

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