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--- May 01 2001 Go to category
Subject: Cardinal's Catcher Mike Matheny
Category: General Questions
From: Bob Busby (St. Charles, MO)


As a jazz lover and amateur guitarist, I could write for hours about the inspiration that you and your music have provided me, and ask literally thousands of deep, philisophical and technical questions about music, jazz, the guitar, improvisation, composition, life, & etc. But I'll spare you that and ask a somewhat less weighty question instead.

Everyone knows Mike Metheny, the talented trumpeter, is your brother. Are you any relation to Mike Matheny, the St. Louis native and current catcher for the Cardinals? I remember reading something you wrote that said the two spellings were really from the same blood line.

Hope you decide to stop in St. Louis on your next tour - I was able to see you outdoors in Blue Springs in 1983 - and it remains one of my favorite concert memories.

Pat’s Answer:

hi bob,

i have to admit that i get a kind of a jolt everytime i hear about "mike matheny" on the news during the sportscasts - and i can only imagine how my brother mike must feel!

for a long time, i think we all thought that there weren't that many other methenys out there, since our branch of the family tree seems to be somewhat (and mysteriously too) isolated from the rest...but over the past couple of years, i have found out that there are around 12,000 other metheny/mathenys out there, and yes, we appear to be all connected. the basic story seems to be that the side of the family that went with the north during the civil war changed their name from mAtheny to mEtheny. but the original spelling itself had already been through a few versions along the way from it's origins in france (this was news to me recently) dating all the way back to around 1100.

if you are curious to know more, thanks to the internet, there is a pretty active metheny/matheny website out there that traces the family origins in detail with pictures and everything all the way back to the little village in france (mathenay) that is actually pretty interesting. the address is

anyway, i always get a kick out of hearing about the "other" mike mAtheny and kind of follow his stats and stuff a little. another little bit of trivia in this department - there was also another well known metheny/matheny in the 70's - an ice skater in the olympics named linda.

thanks for writing in and i am happy you enjoy the music.

best from pat