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Springfield Cards names field manager

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Since winning the 2011 World Series, St. Louis Cardinals executives have been busy making field management decisions.

Yesterday, the Springfield Cardinals introduced Mike Shildt as club manager to succeed Ron “Pop” Warner, who was promoted to the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds squad. In five years in Springfield, Warner notched a franchise record 358 victories.

Shildt spent three years with the Cardinals’ Rookie League team in Tennessee, where he led the Johnson City Cardinals to Appalachian League championships in 2010 and 2011.

Weeks after bringing home the St. Louis Cardinals’ 11th Series title, the team named Mike Matheny manager, succeeding the retiring Tony La Russa, and appointed former Springfield manager Chris “Hammer” Maloney as its first base coach. Warner succeeds Maloney in Memphis.

“We are very excited to welcome Mike into the Springfield family,” Vice President and General Manager Matt Gifford said in a news release. “The player development staff has said great things about our new manager, and we look forward to seeing him continue to guide the future of Cardinals (players) on their way to St. Louis. I would like to congratulate ‘Pop’ on his promotion to Triple-A and thank him for the last five seasons in Springfield. In addition, we wish ‘Hammer’ all the best in St. Louis as the Cardinals prepare to defend their 2011 World Series championship.”

During the conference, Gifford emphasized the Springfield team’s part in securing the title.

"Twenty-three former Springfield Cardinals helped the club win, and that's not counting those who were here on re-hab," he said.

The Springfield team has retained pitching coach Bryan Eversgerd, hitting coach Phillip Wellman and athletic trainer Jason Hall.

The 43-year-old Shildt, a native of Matthews, N.C., is a 1991 graduate of University of North Carolina-Asheville, where he played baseball for three seasons and earned a business degree. As skipper in Johnson City, his record was 124-77.

He also has served the Cards’ minor leagues as spring training coordinator since 2008, a role that covered more than 200 players’ workout, meal and playing schedules.

"It's a lot of work, and people usually do it only for a year," said Scott Bailes, former major league pitcher and a current Springfield Cardinals front office manager.

Contributing writer Gary Ellison contributed to this story.

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