St. Louis Cardinals radio legend Mike Shannon dies at 83
Beloved St. Louis Cardinals radio broadcaster Mike Shannon has died at age 83.
The man who brought St. Louis Cardinals baseball into the homes and vehicles of fans in St. Louis and around the country for 50 seasons has died. Mike Shannon, one of the Cardinals' main radio broadcasters from 1972 to 2021, was 83 at the time of his death on April 29, 2023.
Shannon was a St. Louis native and a 1957 graduate of Christian Brothers College High School in Town and Country, Missouri, where he was the Missouri high school player of the year in football and basketball. However, it was baseball that was his calling, as Cardinals general manager Bing Devine signed Shannon to a contract with the team in 1958 after Shannon had spent a year at the University of Missouri.
Shannon played third base and right field for the Cardinals from 1962 to 1970 and was a member of the 1964 and 1967 World Series champions. His best season came in 1966 when he hit .288 with 16 home runs. In 1970, Shannon contracted nephritis, a kidney disease, which ended his career at age 31.
Undeterred by a playing career cut short, Shannon became a part of the Cardinals’ promotional staff the next season and became a member of the team’s radio booth in 1972 along with Jack Buck. He moved into the lead radio voice role in 2002, a year where he received his first of two consecutive Missouri Sportscaster of the Year Awards.
Shannon’s signature radio call, “Get up baby, get up…oh yeah!” marked countless home runs and became a part of the fabric of Cardinals' history. He called many memorable Cardinals moments, including Glenn Brummer’s walk-off steal of home, Fernando Tatis’ two grand slams in a single inning, and David Freese’s 2011 Game 6 walk-off home run.
Shannon’s on-air analysis and wit endeared him to millions of fans, as did his occasional slips of the tongue — there is an excellent collection of his malapropisms here.
Shannon scaled back his traveling later in his career, only calling home games from 2016 until his retirement in 2021. Shortly after his retirement, Shannon was hit with COVID-19 which never fully dissipated; he dealt with the effects of “long COVID” for the remainder of his life.
Shannon was the proprietor of Mike Shannon’s Seafood & Steaks, a restaurant in St. Louis until it closed in 2016, and he operated two locations of Mike Shannon’s Grill. The Cardinals inducted Shannon into the team’s Hall of Fame in 2014.
Shannon entrenched his legacy into the culture of baseball in St. Louis, and his time behind the mic and in the community helped millions of fans fall in love with the game.