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Mike Matheny, toughest guy you know, continues to get treatment for HBP in 1998

Matheny still recovering from HBP in 1998

As much as Mike Matheny impresses with his ability to still get behind the plate to catch his pitchers (he did so again on Wednesday):


Few of them know much about the playing career that preceded his managerial tenure. If anybody wanted to dive into that education, there's no better place to start than here:

The video made its way around the Cardinals' clubhouse a few years ago, to which one of Matheny's players said of him: "What an animal."

It wasn't just that Matheny took a Rich Loiselle fastball off his left jaw on that day in May 1998. It was that he never went down as he spit chunks of blood and teeth from his mouth. Teammate Geoff Jenkins, retelling the story to, remembers the trainer "basically holding his face together."

And in reality, Matheny, some 17 years later, is still having his mouth put back together. He scooted out of camp quickly on Tuesday to have a procedure on a tooth that had been damaged by the pitch.

"I thought that one was fixed already, but apparently I have to go around [twice] with all of them," Matheny joked a day later. The pain Matheny had been dealing with recently, however, was no joke, though, to no surprise, he masked that, too.

The good news is that all is better now: "As soon as [the dentist] stuck that needle in me, it was a much better day. I almost kissed him."

And the even better of news is that this gives us all an excuse to cue up the old footage again.

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