Guide to Cardinals Extended Spring Camp

Camp Coordinator Mike Shildt explains how St. Louis Cardinals Extended Spring Training Camp is run for approaching 100 aspiring minor leaguers.

With between 80 and 90 players assigned, the St. Louis Cardinals may have their largest Extended Spring Training camp ever in 2008. Leading the effort is the same man in the same role from the regular minor league spring festivities, Camp Coordinator Mike Shildt.

With the dew still on the grass, early one morning last weekend I caught Mike on the back fields of the spring home of the Mets in Port St. Lucie, Florida as his charges prepared to take on their New York system counterparts.

With his daily schedule firmly and efficiently affixed to his clipboard and his ever-present stopwatch cradled in his hand, the affable Shildt (pictured) agreed to highlight some of the details of camp for our readers.

Shildt is a multi-talented individual; in over five seasons he has served the Cardinals organization as a coach, scout and now camp coordinator. For the 2008 short-season, Shildt will be moving from Batavia to the Johnson City Cardinals of the Appalachian League as their hitting coach. For more on the North Carolina native's background, read this article from last summer.

Those who know Mike probably wouldn't be surprised to learn that as we discussed when would be the best time to conduct the interview, he offered that he could do it right then but only if it could be fit within the seven minutes remaining until infield practice.

For the record, as the recording that follows confirms, I respected Mike and the day's schedule, finishing out the question and answer session at six minutes, forty seconds!


Brian Walton can be reached via email at

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