ST. LOUIS — The last Cardinals game of the regular season Sunday was also the last game of broadcaster Mike Shannon’s career.
After 50 years in the broadcast booth, Shannon is retiring. It’s the end of an era. Shannon is a man who has coined many phrases and leaves behind a lasting impression.
Outside Busch Stadium before the game, fans reacted.
“I hate to see him go," Michael Harris said. "He’s a good broadcaster.”
Michael Perkins summed it up.
“To me, Mike is St. Louis baseball,” said Perkins. “I’m going to miss just hearing his voice for every home game.”
Matthew Johnson was asked what he’s going to remember.
“Honestly, I’m going to remember what my dad showed me when Shannon was the third baseman and watching the ’68 World Series against Detroit.”
A reporter pointed out to Tom Manzotti that in the last few years, Shannon talks about a lot of things other than what is unfolding on the field.
“That’s the best part,” said Manzotti. “He talks about everything!”
“I’m going to remember some of the good stuff,” said Tom Meininger.
“Get up baby, get up!” he said, impersonating one of Shannon’s famous home-run calls.
There’s even a website dedicated to Mike Shannon sayings.
There, you’ll see things like – “A hit up the middle right now would be like a nice ham sandwich and a cold, frosty one.”
Carrie Moschino is a former Busch Stadium usher.
“He could sometimes be ornery,” said Moschino, “but he was just a class act, for sure.”
Shannon’s appeal is ageless.
Maelee Schulze, 12, said, “He’s a great guy and he knows all the players by name, and he encourages them.”
Michael Dame recounted his Mike Shannon encounter.
“Well, I remember going into his restaurant,” said Dame. “I walked in and he was there; I had my hand out and he turned around and shook my hand and asked me if I had anything for him to sign.”
Dame did not. But Shannon’s family made arrangements for him to get something autographed by Shannon, later.
Shannon is in the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame and he was named sportscaster of the year, twice. He’s also a two-time World Series champion, helping the Cardinals win it all in 1964 and 1967.
Rick Horton will take over for Shannon in the radio booth full-time next year. He was already on the call for road games in recent years.