The St. Louis Cardinals organization and the St. Louis community were saddened this morning to learn of the passing of popular Cardinals broadcaster, former player and St. Louis native son Thomas Michael “Mike” Shannon at the age of 83. Shannon, who was preceded in death by his first wife, Judy, is survived by their sons Michael Jr., Tim and Dan, and daughters Patricia, Peg and Erin; his wife Lori, 18 grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.
Shannon, who was a member of three Cardinals World Series teams in 1964, 1967 and 1968, spent over 60 years with the Cardinals organization, including 50 as a member of the team’s radio broadcasts. Shannon was recognized in recent years by the National Baseball Hall of Fame as a finalist for the prestigious Ford C. Frick broadcasting award and he was enshrined in the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame in 2014.
“The St. Louis Cardinals were saddened to learn this morning of the passing of Cardinals Hall of Famer and beloved St. Louisan Mike Shannon,” said Cardinals’ Owner & Chief Executive Officer Bill DeWitt, Jr. “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. On behalf of the entire Cardinals organization, we share our condolences with Mike’s family and friends, and his many fans.”
“My dad’s life was encapsulated by his devotion to his family, his friends, the Cardinals organization and the St. Louis community,” stated his son, Tim Shannon, on behalf of the Shannon family. “My dad lived his life to the fullest, and he squeezed every drop from it.”
Throughout his years as a broadcaster for the Cardinals, Shannon also made appearances for the Cardinals on their television broadcasts, including as a pre-game analyst for Fox Midwest. He also worked with NBC’s Baseball Game of the Week and called St. Louis Cardinals NFL football games on radio.
A St. Louis native, Shannon broke into the big leagues with the Cardinals in 1962 and became the regular right fielder during the 1964 World Championship season. During the 1964 Series opener vs. New York, he hit a game-tying, two-run homer as St. Louis went on to defeat the Yankees in seven games. In 1967 Shannon was moved to third base to make room for newly acquired right fielder Roger Maris, as the Cardinals went on to win two straight National League pennants in 1967 and 1968 as well as the 1967 World Series.
Mike’s nine-year (1962-1970) playing career was cut short by a kidney disease and he joined the Cardinals front office in 1971 as assistant director of promotions and sales and entered the broadcast booth in 1972, where he remained for 50 years. His many years with the organization gave Shannon a unique insight in his commentary. He was honored throughout the 2021 season for his 50 years of service with the ball club.
Shannon received numerous awards and honors throughout his career. A gifted athlete, he was a High School All-American football player at Christian Brothers College High School in St. Louis, and in 1957 was named the Missouri prep Player of the Year in both basketball and football – the only player ever to receive both in the same year. He would attend the University of Missouri as a college quarterback before signing a contract to play for the Cardinals.
Shannon was named St. Louis Ambassador’s 1993 Sportsman of the Year, received the 1985 Emmy Award for Sports Broadcasting, St. Louis chapter, and received the Sportscaster of the Year award for the state of Missouri from the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association (NSSA) in 2002, 2003 and 2014. In 1999, Shannon was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in recognition of his on-air career and as a player on the field, and in May 2013 the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame named Mike a Missouri Sports Legend, the 26th such honor given. In 2009, he was selected to be a member of the Academy of Missouri Squires and he was honored as St. Louis Press Club Media Person of the Year in 2010.