Shannon in 1983
|Third baseman / Right fielder|
|Born: July 15, 1939|
St. Louis, Missouri
|September 11, 1962, for the St. Louis Cardinals|
|Last MLB appearance|
|August 12, 1970, for the St. Louis Cardinals|
|Runs batted in||367|
|Career highlights and awards|
Thomas Michael Shannon (born July 15, 1939), is an American former professional baseball infielder / outfielder, who spent his entire Major League Baseball (MLB) career, playing for the St. Louis Cardinals (1962-1970). Shannon has been a Cardinals radio broadcaster since 1972.
Shannon was raised in St. Louis, Missouri and was an integral part of some of the Cards' most successful seasons, during the 1960s. He was the proprietor of Mike Shannon's Steaks and Seafood restaurant, in downtown St. Louis, until its closing, on January 30, 2016. Shannon still operates two Mike Shannon's Grill locations, in Edwardsville, IL, and at the St. Louis Lambert International Airport, which is run by his grandson, Justin VanMatre.
Shannon was born and raised in south St. Louis at 7045 Winona Avenue. Mike was the second oldest of six children of Thomas A. Shannon and Elizabeth W. Richason Shannon. Shannon's father was a St. Louis police officer and after getting his law degree, worked in the Prosecuting Attorney's office before becoming the Prosecuting Attorney for the City of St. Louis in the early 1970s.
Mike attended grade school at Epiphany of Our Lord Catholic School, and graduated from Christian Brothers College High School in 1957. While at CBC Mike was the Missouri High School Player of the Year in both football and basketball his senior year. He is the only athlete to win both awards in the same year. He attended the University of Missouri before leaving in 1958 to begin his professional baseball career after signing with Bing Devine, GM of the St. Louis Cardinals. Shannon has commented that if football players were paid better during his era, he probably would have stayed at Missouri and sought a professional football career. He believed himself to be a better football player. His former coach Frank Broyles commented that had he stayed in school, Shannon might have won the Heisman Trophy.
Shannon began his big league career with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1962. In 1964, he became the team's regular right fielder, shifting to third base (in order to make room for the newly acquired Roger Maris) in 1967. Shannon played in three World Series for the Cardinals. He hit a game-tying two-run homer off Whitey Ford in Game 1 of the 1964 World Series against the New York Yankees, which St. Louis won 9-5.
One of his best years came in 1966, when he batted .288 in 137 games with 16 home runs and 64 RBI. He was named NL Player of the Month in July (.395, 7 HR, 23 RBI). He posted another excellent season in 1968, when he batted .266 in 156 games, with 15 home runs and 79 RBI; these numbers would in most seasons be considered average at best, but in the "Year of the Pitcher", such stats were enough to earn him seventh place in MVP voting, behind teammates Bob Gibson, Curt Flood, and Lou Brock, as well as Giants Willie McCovey and Juan Marichal, and Pete Rose of the Reds.
In Game 3 of the 1967 World Series against the Boston Red Sox, Shannon hit a key home run off Gary Bell. In Game 7 of the 1968 World Series against the Detroit Tigers, Shannon's solo home run off Mickey Lolich was the Cardinals' only run off Lolich as the Tigers clinched. Shannon also hit the last home run in the original Busch Stadium (Sportsman's Park) in 1966 and the first one for the Cardinals in the second Busch Stadium (Busch Memorial Stadium). In 1970, he contracted nephritis, a kidney disease, which ended his playing career.
Shannon joined the Cardinals' promotional staff in 1971; a year later he moved to the team's radio booth. For almost three decades Shannon was paired with Hall of Fame announcer Jack Buck on AM 1120 KMOX and the Cardinals Radio Network. Following Buck's death in 2002, he was named the team's lead radio voice, teaming with Joel Meyers (2002), Wayne Hagin (2003-2005), and John Rooney (2006-present). In 2006, he moved to KTRS (550) which had won broadcasting rights for the Cardinals and ownership of the station. For the 2011 season KMOX regained the rights for Cardinals broadcasting and Shannon returned to his former employer.
Shannon received a local Emmy Award for his work on Cardinal broadcasts in 1985, and was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 1999. He was named Missouri Sportscaster of the Year in 2002 and 2003.
On Friday nights after a Cardinals home game, Shannon traditionally hosts a sports chat show from the Cardinals' home radio booth.
Shannon's signature home run call is "Here's a long one to left/center/right, get up baby, get up, get up...oh yeah!"
During the 1980s, Shannon worked as a backup analyst (behind the main analysts, Joe Garagiola and Tony Kubek) for NBC's Game of the Week telecasts (typically working with play-by-play man Jay Randolph).
Counting his tenure in the minor leagues, Shannon has spent 61 years--nearly his entire adult life--with the Cardinals in some capacity. He has also called Cardinals games longer than anyone except Buck.
On August 8, 2014 Shannon was inducted into the St.Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame.
As of the 2016 season, Shannon only calls home games for the Cardinals.