ST. LOUIS (AP) — Mike Shannon, a two-time World Series winner and longtime St. Louis Cardinals broadcaster, has died. He was 83.
The Cardinals said he died Saturday night in St. Louis. The team did not cite the cause of death.
“Mike’s unique connection to Cardinals fans and his teammates was reflected in his unbridled passion for the game, the Cardinals and the St. Louis community,” Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt Jr. said in a statement Sunday.
Shannon spent 50 years in the broadcast booth, starting in 1972. That followed a short stint in the front office and a nine-year playing career with his hometown team, the first two seasons with future Hall of Famer Stan Musial.
Joe Buck, a longtime friend of Shannon’s and onetime radio partner, said Shannon was a big influence on his career.
“I learned broadcasting from my father (Hall of Fame announcer Jack Buck) but I learned baseball from Mike,” Buck said in a phone interview. “He was a loyal and great man. I didn’t know anyone who had more fun. He had the best schedule and always had stuff going on.”
Shannon was the regular right fielder for the 1964 championship team and moved to third base in 1967, when St. Louis acquired Roger Maris and won another World Series.
Buck noted that Shannon had a great eye for talent and trends, but one of the few things he got wrong was thinking Maris’ single-season home run record would stand. Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees hit an American League record 62 home runs last year, breaking Maris’ mark of 61 that had stood since 1961.
“I think he was surprised as anyone because he didn’t think anyone would break the record because of the pressure and attention,” Buck said of Shannon.
Shannon, affectionately known as “The Moon Man” to St. Louis fans who listened to his colorful tales in the booth, retired after the 2021 season. He was owned a pair of restaurants near Busch Stadium before they closed in 2016.
“His close relationship with Cardinals fans demonstrates the unique impact that Baseball has linking generations of fans,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement.
Cardinals broadcaster Chip Caray’s family also had a long history with Shannon. Caray’s grandfather, Hall of Fame announcer Harry Caray, called Shannon’s games when he was a player.
“Everywhere he went, he just made people laugh. He was one of the great characters of our game and in our industry, in a business where, frankly, so many people are not allowed to be themselves. Mike was quintessentially Mike and there will never be another one like him,” Caray said at Dodger Stadium before a game between the Cardinals and Dodgers.
Shannon is survived by his second wife, two sons, three daughters, 18 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
AP Sports Writer Joe Reedy in Los Angeles contributed to this report.
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports