Editorial, opinion

There is a decent chance that as you are reading this, the St. Louis Cardinals are playing in the National League Wild Card game. Win or lose in this playoff game, a historic winning streak in September propelled the Redbirds into the postseason, again. Some things never change.

Sadly though, some things do change. Last week, Mike Shannon – Cardinals announcer, former player and CBC High alum – called his last game, ending a 50-year run as the color commentator for the team’s radio broadcast partner. Nobody brought as much color to his commentary as Shannon did. So we offer this little journey down memory lane – with the assistance of shannonisms.com.

Shannon was a master of colloquialisms, able to paint a picture using down-home, matter-of-fact language to which everyone could relate.

He’s madder than a pig caught under a barnyard gate.

He’s faster than a chicken being chased by Ronald McDonald!

He’s so hot, if you stand too close to him you’ll get a suntan.

Somebody’s gotta grab the bear. Sometimes you eat the bear, sometimes the bear eats you.

They are having more fun than a barrel of monkeys with a six pack of Budweiser.

Albert ripped into that pitch the way the Cookie Monster rips into cookies. Atta baby, Albert.

Well, he did everything right to get ready for the throw, but if ya ain’t got the hose, the water just won’t come out.

Okay, perhaps calling Shannon a master of language is a bit much.

The wind switched 360 degrees.

It doesn’t matter if they’re home or away, or vice versa.

This game is moving along pretty quick, it must have something to do with the exchange rate.

We’ve got a day game tomorrow night!

It takes a while to get readjusted to the crooks and nannies of these ballparks when you haven’t been here for awhile.

It’s Mother’s Day today, so to all you mothers out there … Happy Birthday!

And of course, math was always a bit of a challenge for Shannon.

The Dodgers are ahead by 5 runs or 3 runs or in between there somewhere.

The Cards’ are up by five. Cinco. Cinco de Mayo. That’s coming up soon isn’t it? (long pause) Nine months, huh? Get your tickets now folks!

Back in the day when I played, a pitcher had 3 pitches: a fastball, a curveball, a slider, a changeup and a good sinker pitch.

Despite some of his faux pas, Shannon was a patriot and devoutly religious.

The United States is the greatest country in America!

… this crowd is on their feet for the Canadian Star Spangled Banner.

Well, no one’s perfect. Only one guy was ever perfect, Jack, and they nailed him to a tree!

He had a self-deprecating, dry wit that paired perfectly with the national pastime.

Chicago always seems to blame all of their problems on animals. For that big fire, they blamed it on a cow. And for the Cubs not winning a World Series in over 100 years they blame it on a goat. (pause) By the way, they’ve got a great zoo here in Chicago.

He’s having trouble with the signals out there. I don’t know if they’re giving them in English, Spanish, computer, or what.

The right fielder looked like me trying to get a peach out of the tree.

This kid is off to a great start this season. … just kidding, it’s an awful one, he’s hitting .181.

And that youngster will leave the stadium with a souvenir today. Not a ball, but a nice looking bruise.

Above all, Shannon was a great poet-philosopher of the ballpark.

Like spring makes the rain come, so does the edge of the plate grow.

It’s a shame they waste that youth on the young.

It’s raining so hard I thought it was going to stop.

I wish you folks back in St. Louis could see this moon.

Things are not always as they appear to be as.

I tell you, that same river flows the same way.

We are going to miss you, Mike. The game just won’t be the same without you. Here’s wishing you many years of fishing trips and ice-cold, frosty Budweisers.

• • •

(All quotes courtesy of shannonisms.com,

possibly the greatest website ever created)