Watching athletes who perform at a high level has taught St. Louis Cardinals Manager Mike Matheny a lot.  It’s not about numbers or statistics.  It’s about what we do in our lives to leave a lasting legacy.  Matheny shared his “legacy blueprint” at Vitae Foundation’s St. Charles Pro-Life Dinner on Tuesday, November 17, at the St. Charles Convention Center.

Right before Matheny took the stage, Vitae Market Director Scott Tygett thanked the St. Charles audience for being part of the effort to help save 11,489 babies from abortion so far this year.

“This would not happen without you and our 133 collaborating Pregnancy Help Centers,” Tygett told the sold out crowd.  “Thank you so much for believing in the mission of the Vitae Foundation in helping us reach women with a message of hope and creating a culture of life.”

When Matheny took the stage, he announced to the crowd that he took second in the “Manager of the Year” vote.  Not the outcome he or Cardinals fans had hoped, but after listening to his talk, attendees came to realize that Matheny was concerned with a much larger issue.

“I’ve been overwhelmed with this idea of legacy,” the Cardinals skipper stated.  “Your legacy is how you deal with things in your life.  Do we maximize what’s in front of us, or do we just try to get by with what we have?  What do we want to be remembered for?

“The legacy we’re talking about is a legacy like Vitae and how they are changing—no, not changing, but saving lives,” Matheny noted.

Almost 550 people attending the Vitae dinner were treated to Matheny’s thoughts on what allows certain individuals or groups to achieve at such unbelievable heights.  He shared that he first went to Tony LaRussa after getting the manager position, to find out exactly what he needed to know, “because I was so over my skis!” he laughed.

He took a thick notepad and sat down for what he thought would be a long meeting with the 36-year veteran manager.  “Give me your advice,” Matheny asked.  What he got in return was a bit of a head scratcher.  “Every day, learn something new.”  Then there was silence.  “He repeated it, and by this time I’m thinking he thinks I still have post-concussion syndrome,” Matheny quipped.

“Actually, by continuing to learn, LaRussa was talking about making the people around you better.  It was so simple and so profound.  I watch my players day in and day out.  Our best players are the most educated—they are always learning something to get better,” the former Gold Glove catcher explained.

Matheny said he reads books on the priorities in his life: faith, family, and his job.  He is a big believer in the leadership style known as Servant Leadership, saying everybody gets better when they selflessly serve others.  Yes, he noted, this team was so much fun to watch this year, but what was going on behind the scenes was what made this team: selflessly serving others.  Their core group of leaders would stop any behavior indicating self-promotion at the door.

“The more we give of ourselves, we get back more than we ever gave,” the fourth-year manager stated.  It’s important to note Matheny has taken his Redbirds to the post season all four years and to the World Series one of those years, an MLB record. His leadership style is certainly garnering results.

“This goes a whole lot deeper than the game of baseball,” the father of five stated.  “We’re fortunate to have so many people, like Vitae, who are actively out serving others.  Look at taking this opportunity to go out and do something big—that’s the platform we’ve been given.  Everyone here has the opportunity to have a legacy of impacting people.”

Matheny challenged those gathered not to waste the opportunity before them.  “Vitae is taking the initiative and giving others the opportunity to jump in and get their hands dirty by volunteering or using their resources to not just change lives but save lives,” he stated.

“I want to challenge you to take a good hard look at your life.  When we figure out how to serve those closest to us…when we figure out how to serve those we’ll never meet—that’s true charity. That comes back in ways you could never dream of.  That is a life of impact and a life with no regrets,” Matheny urged.

Tygett shared that Vitae couldn’t do this work without the donors, the prayer warriors, and the volunteers.  “We’re talking about saving generations.  That’s a legacy we can leave as we go forward,” he stated.

Vitae’s market director gave a shout out to the Knights of Columbus, who Vitae works with on the Meet Life Campaign in Missouri.  He also announced digital strategies that are being employed. Vitae will soon be launching strategic Mobile Advertising and Google AdWords campaign in the St. Charles/St. Louis area focused on increasing client activity in pregnancy centers throughout the local market.

Everyone in attendance was given a wallet card with nine St. Louis area Pregnancy Help Centers listed.  This will help empower the 51 percent who proclaim to be pro-life to help women find these life-saving centers.

The emcee for the evening was former Cardinal pitcher Rick Horton.  Today Horton’s career has him in front of a television camera or behind a radio microphone providing color commentary for Cardinals’ games.  He continues to voice radio ads for Vitae that air on the Cardinals Radio Network.

Horton shared a very personal story about a young, athletic girl who at age 18 was faced with a very difficult decision of what to do with an unplanned pregnancy.  Fortunately she found the strength and courage to go through with her pregnancy and married the father.

“This lady is my mom,” Horton said.  Perhaps this is why the New York native was brought to tears the first time he watched a Vitae ad and has been a friend to Vitae ever since.  “It’s our role and duty, as Vitae followers throughout the world believe, that we remember it’s God’s creation.   People do not have the right to destroy God’s creation.”

If you were unable to attend the event and would like to help Vitae’s mission in reaching women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, please donate today.