Walt Jocketty, Vice President & GM

A look at the biography of the St. Louis Cardinals Vice-President/General Manager and 2004 National League Executive of the Year.

Walt Jocketty was named the Cardinals' Vice President/General Manager on Oct. 14, 1994. In November 2000 he was promoted to his current position of Senior Vice President, signing a four-year contract extension through 2004. On February 2 of this year he agreed to a three-year contract extension that will keep him with the club until 2007, making him the longest tenured general manager in club history. He is entering his 31st season in professional baseball and is currently the third longest tenured Major League general manager.

Jocketty, 54, was named Executive of the Year by the Sporting Newsafter the 2004 season in which the Cardinals were crowned National League Champions and made their first appearance in the World Series since 1987. He also was honored by the Negro League Hall of Fame with the Rube Foster Award as the Executive of the Year. Prior to the 2004 season, Jocketty acquired several players that were key components of the Championship team, including outfielder Reggie Sanders, second baseman Tony Womack and pitchers Jeff Suppan, Jason Marquis and Ray King, and he also pulled off and in-season trade with Colorado for three-time N.L. batting champion, seven-time Gold Glove winner and five-time All-Star Larry Walker. The Executive of the Year award is Walt's second such honor, also given the award in 2000 by both the Sporting Newsand Baseball America.

In preparation for the 2005 championship season, Jocketty has once again re-vamped the team's 40-man roster, signing free agent shortstop David Eckstein and second baseman Mark Grudzielanek, and trading for All-Star pitcher Mark Mulder from the Oakland A's.

Jocketty's trades and acquisitions during his tenure with the Cardinals have been key to the team's success, reaching the World Series last season and the postseason in 1996 and three consecutive seasons from 2000 to 2002. He landed All-Star third baseman Scott Rolen in 2002 and arranged an eight-year contract with Rolen, and completed a seven-year contract with Albert Pujols in February 2004.

In a busy offseason prior to the 2000 campaign, Jocketty became the first general manager in baseball history to trade for a 20-game winner and a 40-homer man in the same off-season with deals for Darryl Kile and Jim Edmonds. He bolstered the lineup by trading for Fernando Viña and signing Mike Matheny and made trading deadline deals for Will Clark, Mike Timlin, and Jason Christiansen - all keys to the team's success in 2000.

Jocketty was instrumental in bringing Manager Tony La Russa to St. Louis as well as nearly a dozen new faces to the Cardinals' roster before the 1996 season. Those changes helped the club return to the postseason that year after an eight-season drought. In July 1997, he engineered a deal that brought slugger Mark McGwire to St. Louis and then put together a contract that kept McGwire in a Cardinals uniform through 2001.

Jocketty has helped build the Cardinals' future through the June amateur draft, helping to land young stars like Albert Pujols, J.D. Drew, Matt Morris and Rick Ankiel. He has continued to build the team's reserve of young talent by signing picks Yadier Molina (catcher, 2000), Anthony Reyes (righthanded pitcher, 2003) and Chris Lambert (righthanded pitcher, 2004).

Before coming to the Cardinals, Jocketty was the Assistant General Manager/Player Personnel for the Colorado Rockies, whom he joined in 1993. Prior to that, he served 10 seasons as the Director of Baseball Administration for the Oakland A's. He served a total of 14 years with Oakland, starting in March 1980, when he was hired by Charles O. Finley as Director of Minor League Operations and Scouting, and was instrumental in overhauling the A's minor league system.

While with Oakland, Jocketty played a key role in establishing the Arizona Rookie League and the Dominican Summer League. He previously served on Major League Baseball's Operations Committee, which is responsible for negotiations between the Professional Baseball Association and Major League Baseball. He has served as a board member of the Epworth Children's Home in St. Louis.

Jocketty is a native of Minneapolis, Minn., where he earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Minnesota in 1974. He and his wife, Sue, have two children, Ashley and Joey, and make their home in St. Louis County.

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