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Love and Grow

“Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain? The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart;”

– Psalm 15:1-2

Mike Shildt never played pro baseball. In fact, he was working at a grocery store when he was 25, unaware at the time of where his future might lead him. But Shildt always had a love for the game of baseball, for as long as he can remember. His mother would take him to her job with the double-a team for the Baltimore Orioles, the Charlotte O’s. As he spent his days at the ballpark, the love for the game became ingrained in his veins and he knew he wanted his career to somehow include the sport.

After beginning his career coaching high school, Shildt found himself in the St. Louis Cardinals organization climbing the ranks. Initially he worked as an area scout for the Cardinals in local areas near him. By 2009 he was the manager of the Johnson City Cardinals, a minor league affiliate for the St. Louis Cardinals, and by 2018 he took over as the manager for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Shildt Wedding
Mike and Michelle Shildt’s Wedding
In his position with St. Louis, he makes it a priority to not only win ball games, but to be a leader for his team and show love to all those with whom he connects. Behind that mentality for Shildt is his faith.

Although an important aspect of his life today, Shildt says that it wasn’t right away that he took faith seriously.

“I took some wrong turns before surrendering myself to the Lord. I grew up in an Episcopal Church and always had a belief in God. I just didn’t accept/live the teachings. As I got into my college and young adult years I strayed from God and was more dedicated to earthly pleasures.”

Shildt soon learned something was missing, and began turning his life over to the Lord. “It was only after trying to do it myself that I realized the emptiness I was feeling couldn’t be filled by me alone. So I turned to God and anchored to His teachings. It created a peace within me and opened up my world in how I should live. I now have clarity as to my purpose in life and serving others with God’s spiritual gifts He has bestowed upon me.”

In his position with the Cardinals, Shildt is faced with a daily pressure to win games and bring his team to the postseason. But what keeps him grounded and focused on what truly matters is his faith.

“Faith has been an anchor for me in all aspects of my life. The principle of love without judgement allows me to keep things in perspective as I go through my day. I got into coaching to love and grow those around me. I’m blessed to be able to be a part of our players’ lives and in some small way help them realize their God-given ability.”

Shildt is also thankful for those he works with and who help him grow in his own faith. “I have players and staff members who are very strong in their faith. They are lights to me and help me stay connected to God through their actions and words.”

Mike Shildt with his Family
Mike Shildt with his family

Those relationships have helped Shildt create a clubhouse full of love for all those occupying it, regardless of background. He emphasizes maintaining a culture full of encouragement and motivation to help his players and staff perform well not only on the field, but off of it as well, by loving and serving others.

Shildt has now also extended his calling as a Christian to his new role, as a husband to his wife, Michelle. Together, Mike and Michelle have made faith a priority in their household and emphasize raising their children in the faith as well. They both take pride in certain Bible passages and often cite them. If you find yourself with a Mike Shildt autograph, it likely contains the passage Psalm 15, a chapter Shildt holds close.

“Psalm 15 is my favorite chapter! It is a playbook for me in how to best live a Godly life. Michelle’s life’s verse is Galatians 2:20. She adopted that verse for her life when she was in the 8th grade and, like me, signs her letters or cards with that passage in hopes the reader will be curious and look it up. Who knows, it may spur someone to open the Bible (if even simply on their phone) for the first time.”

Together, Mike and Michelle have grown together in the faith and leading others in love and dignity. As Mike Shildt and the rest of his Cardinals team face uncertainty today towards the 2020 season with a coronavirus outbreak throughout the club that has postponed many of the team’s games, it is faith that helps keep Shildt grounded and confident that God has things under control. He takes great pride in knowing that even though we live in a broken world, we can find solace in a loving God. “I’m still flawed and occasionally lose my way, but it’s so comforting to know that God is always there for me!”

Ethan Kruse

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