The 2021 Major League Baseball season opens on Thursday, April 1 with all 30 teams seeing action including the St. Louis Cardinals playing the Reds in Cincinnati, Ohio. One person who is very happy to be able to see the games this season is Cardinal broadcaster Mike Shannon.

Shannon, who announced earlier this year that this is going to be his final year of broadcasting Cardinal Baseball, nearly died back in the fall after contracting COVID-19.  In an article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, written by Quincy’s own Rick Hummel, Shannon mentioned he was in the hospital for 15 days in late October and early November fighting the Coronavirus.

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According to the Post-Dispatch article things got so bad that his wife, Lori, said she was speeding down Highway 64 in St. Louis to race her husband to the hospital. She said he went from feeling fine to deathly ill in just 4 hours according to the story. Shannon ended up on oxygen and in the intensive care unit and was put into a medical coma for a while.

None of the medicines seemed to be working during his first five days in the hospital and Lori, who also has dealt with COVID-19 herself, was told “he was not going to make it” and to prepare for the worst. Fortunately, that was not the case and Shannon began a slow road to recovery which he is still traveling.  He has been undergoing therapy to get his energy and strength back and will be working a limited amount of innings during each home game during the season.

This is not the first encounter with death for the Cardinal broadcaster and former third-baseman. Shannon’s playing career ended and his life was actually in jeopardy back in 1970 due to nephritis, a kidney ailment. He fought that battle and is fighting this one as well. Hopefully, the 81 year old Shannon will see his energy return to normal and get to enjoy his 50th and final season behind the microphone this year.

Thank goodness he is recovering. I just can’t see Mike Shannon lying in bed. His fans just might start yelling “Get up baby, get up”.

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