One of the joys of being a Cardinals’ fan is hearing Mike Shannon’s play by play on KMOX radio. He is at times intentionally funny “He’s faster than a chicken being chased by Ronald McDonald!”, “Like Spring makes the rains come, so does the edge of the plate grow”, and other times unintentionally funny “…this crowd is on their feet for the Canadian Star Spangled Banner.”, ‘‘Even the standing-room only seats have been sold.”, either way he brings the games to life. Thomas Michael Shannon was born in South STL on July 15, 1939. Mike’s dad was a STL police officer, and then after earning a law degree he became the Prosecuting Attorney for STL in the 1970s. He attended Christian Brothers College High School then briefly attended the University of Missouri but left in 1958 to start his professional career. An interesting note is that some thought he was a better football player and was good enough to win a Heisman Trophy.
In 1962 he began his carrier with the Cardinals and in 1964 he became the regular right fielder. However, in 1967 he shifted to 3rd base to make room for Roger Maris. Mike was known for two key home runs in World Series history, first he hit a game tying two-run homer off of Whitey Ford in Game 1 of the 1964 World Series, and he hit another key home run in the 1967 World Series against Bosox the in Game 3. In 1968 he hit a home run off of the Tigers Mickey Lolich in the final game of that World Series. Mike wasn’t done with his notable home runs. He hit the last home run in the old Sportsman’s Park (AKA Busch Stadium I), and the first home run in Busch II. Unfortunately Mike contracted a kidney disease (nephritis) in 1970 and his career was finished. His career stats were as follows; 882 games played, 3056 plate appearances, 313 runs scored, 710 hits, 367 RBIs, 19 Stolen Bases, .255 BA, .698 OPS, and .954 fielding average.
Mike's last card
In 1972 Mike became a broadcasting partner of Jack Buck until his death. Following Jack’s death Mike was named the lead broadcaster. All in all he has spent 55 years of his life as a Cardinal and only Jack Buck has called more Cardinals’ games. I know when he stops calling games it will be a gigantic loss for baseball as he is an old school broadcaster with so much “character”.
Jack and Mike in Busch II