“Whatever happened to the love of the game?” Mike Matheny wants answers in his book, The Matheny Manifesto. Less than ten pages into the book, I noticed my eyes began to well with tears. Indeed, the love of the game has been displaced for ego, selfishness, and parents who live vicariously through their kids.
Back to the tears. As Matheny made his lament, my memory bank rewinded back to the mid-70’s when I played baseball for Lacey Elementary. I instantly remember the day when my buddy, John Rohr was on the mound. John loved to throw the knuckle ball. The only problem is that John’s dad was the manager of the club. And Mr. Rohr didn’t like the knuckle ball. So with two down and a runner aboard, John threw a knuckle ball. “Johnny!” Mr. Rohr yelled. Strike one! A glance back to me at second base. John wound up. Another knuckle ball. “I thought I told you …” Swing and a miss. Strike two! Another glance back to second base. Everyone knew what was coming. John tossed a third knuckle ball and struck out the poor little wretch at the plate! “You’re out!” Mr. Rohr couldn’t believe it! We’ve talked about that scene dozens of times over the last forty years and will probably keep talking for another forty years!
Mike Matheny has a great point. Young people have lost the love of the game. I still remember the days of Dairy Queen, … And who could forget the triple play that John Rohr, Steve Robbins, and I turned in 1978. We never turned another triple play again and I’ve only seen one turned since – at Safeco Field a few years ago.
The Matheny Manifesto is about the love of the game. Manager of the St. Lewis Cardinals weaves his life story into this fascinating account which is in the final analysis his life philosophy and baseball philosophy.
Matheny explores the keys to success, not just in baseball – but in life. These keys include:
At the center of the book is a commitment to “old-school” views which find their origin in the teaching of Jesus. Matheny is quick to give glory to God and is compelled to live out the kingdom priorities of Jesus – both on the field and off.
Perhaps the most impressive feature of the book is Matheny’s commitment to servant leadership, what he refers to as an “upside-down organizational chart.” Matheny articulates his vision of servant leadership:
The leader, the boss, puts himself at the bottom, in a supporting role, and empowers his subordinates to excel. Somehow, he loses no power or authority or respect. In fact, his stature is enhanced because he has honored the people entrusted to him.
While the author shares his original manifesto which was written to parents of a little league team he coached, the essence of the manifesto emerges clearly in the pages of this well-written book.
The Matheny Manifesto will remind you why you love the game of baseball and will spur you on to live life with passion, integrity, honor, and courage!
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.