Cardinals sign Mike Shannon to multiyear contract extension
ST. LOUIS — When Mike Shannon underwent heart surgery last summer, it was natural to wonder about his future as the Voice of the Cardinals.
No need to worry now. The Cardinals announced Monday they have finalized a "multi-year" extension with their longtime radio broadcaster. Shannon, 74, will continue to handle play-by-play responsibilities on KMOX-AM for home games as well as about 30 games on the road.
"Mike’s voice has become the soundtrack to St. Louis baseball," Cardinals president Bill DeWitt III said in a statement. "We look forward to having him back in the booth this season and for years to come."
Shannon, who missed only a month after last summer’s procedure, will be entering his 56th year with the organization, his 42nd in the broadcast booth. As a third baseman-outfielder for the club, Shannon hit .255 in nine seasons and helped bring two World Series championships to St. Louis.
The rest of the radio announcing crew returns intact, with John Rooney handling most of the play-by-play responsibilities. Rick Horton and Al Hrabosky of FOX Sports Midwest will continue to step in when Shannon is absent.
Shannon also will continue to host one of the most underappreciated shows on radio, "Live at Shannon’s." The show, an informal interview show featuring Shannon and a well-known Cardinal or Cardinals opponent, will be heard on KMOX-AM after Tuesday and Friday home games.
Aside from continuing to cut back on road games, Shannon’s responsibilities will not change. He will continue to appear on FOX Sports Midwest’s pregame shows and do morning call-in segments on KMOX.
While Shannon is a major presence at Busch Stadium, to understand his standing with the franchise, you should see the attention he commands on the road. A couple of years ago, when the Cardinals were playing the Tigers in a spring training game in Lakeland, Fla., there was virtually a nonstop knock on a press box door by fans seeking Shannon’s autograph.
Shannon was honored last May when he was named the 26th Missouri Sports Legend by the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.
You can follow Stan McNeal on Twitter at @stanmcneal or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.