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frosty one

Mike Shannon

Mike Shannon (born July 15, 1939) is a former American-born Major League Baseball player and current radio sportscaster.

Shannon has become a beloved broadcaster among St. Louis Cardinals fans, having been raised in Gateway City, having played with the Cardinals during some of its most successul years, operating an area restaurant, and having broadcasted games over the radio for the entire lifetime of many young fans.

Early life

Shannon was born and raised in South City. He graduated grade school from Epiphany of Our Lord Catholic School, and he graduated high school from Christian Brothers College High School in 1957. He attended the University of Missouri before leaving to begin his professional baseball career. 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 a better football player, and his former coach, Frank Broyles commented that had he stayed in school, Shannon might have won the Heisman Trophy.

Playing career

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 the Game 1 of the 1964 World Series against the New York Yankees, which St. Louis won 9-5. 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 in the second Busch Stadium (Busch Memorial Stadium). In 1970 he contracted nephritis, a rare kidney disease, which ended his playing career.

Broadcasting 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 over station KMOX and the rest of the Cardinals' radio network; following Buck's death in 2002, he was named as the team's lead radio voice, teaming with Joel Myers (2002), Wayne Hagin (2003-2005), and John Rooney (2006-).

Shannon received an Emmy Award for his work on Cardinal broadcasts in 1985, Shannon is a 1999 inductee of the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. http://www.mosportshalloffame.com/inductee_detail/Mike+Shannon/181

Shannon also hosts a local sports talk show after each Cardinals home game from his self-titled restaurant.

Commentating style

Shannon's casual conversation style, his frequent references to sponsor Anheuser-Busch products (in the past Shannon has been labeled the poet laureate of cold, frosty, Budweiser), slurred verbal gaffes, and famous chuckle (heh-heh-heh) have also gained him popularity with Cardinal fans in much the same way as Harry Caray with their rival Chicago Cubs.

Shannon is also known for a number of trademark phrases:

"You can't sneak the Sun past the rooster." -- when opposing pitchers are victimized by a Cardinals batter

"Ol' Abner's done it again!" -- a reference to Abner Doubleday, to describe a close and dramatic game

"Deuces Wild" -- a 2 strike, 2 ball count on the batter with 2 on and 2 out; a phrase he took from Hall-of-Fame broadcaster Vin Scully.

Other facets of Shannon's distinct style include excessive description of the pitcher's mound habits, particularly in late innings: ie. "Izzy tugs at his cap, rubs up the baseball and climbs on top..." when closer Jason Isringhausen is attempting to preserve a lead.

He often refers to batters "holding it [the bat] down on the end" or "down on the knob" as they await the pitch.

He is known for his "get up baby, get up" call when a Cardinal player hits a home run.

Throughout his career Shannon has compiled an impressive list of malapropisms and odd statements known affectionately as "Shannonisms." It was often thought that most of Mike's gaffes occurred in late innings after one too many drinks, but it is far more likely that they are simply a result of his homespun style and, even after more than thirty years of work, exceedingly rough professional edges.

Shannonisms

"You can't sweep a doubleheader if you don't win the first game."

"A hit up the middle right now would be like a nice ham sandwich and a cold, frosty one."

"Jeff Bagwell finally drove in a run after 75 at-bats without one. That's like crossing the Sahara.....backwards!"

"He's faster than a chicken being chased by Ronald McDonald!"

"Izzy's like a wild hare in March, running all over the lot!"

"Coco Crisp, now, wouldn't that be a great name for a cereal?"

"He ran to second faster than a cat in Chinatown."

"Well folks, this game began as a tiny worm and is blossoming into a large cobra."

"He was trying to hit a three-run homer with the bases empty. To my knowledge, no one in the history of the game has ever done that. But it could happen someday. You never know in this world of baseball."

"And Matt Lawton is stuck in the desert without a paddle"

"The outfield is deep and playing him straight-away and the infield is the same except first, second, third and short are playing him to pull."

"Pitcher and catcher talk it over. He says, "Look, we're up by six. If he wants to steal third, let him. If he wants to steal home, let him. If he wants to steal from the cookie jar, he can have that, too."

"They've got a guy named Diaz (Die-az) and we've got a Diaz (Dee-az), and they're both spelled the same, I tell you, folks, English is a strange language."

"We have Rick Ankiel on the mound tonight, pitching on his twenty-first birthday. Yes, sir, folks, this young man, just as of today, is old enough to vote!"

"Look at that moon. If you people in St. Louis could see this moon."

"The Shoeman"

"The count is two-two. Everyone needs a tutu."

References

External links

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