Did you know?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The boys of summer are back! Major league baseball kicked off last week as millions of fans entered the new season with high hopes their favorite team will land in this year's World Series. While most fans in this region cheer for the St. Louis Cardinals, I will be pulling for my favorite team, the Cincinnati Reds.

My wife tells me I have hundreds of useless facts spinning around in my head that might prove interesting to our readers. She has encouraged me to write a "Did You Know?" column, so I thought this would be as good a time as any to begin.

Despite not being a Cardinal fan, which is a classic understatement for me, I do enjoy listening to legendary Redbird announcer Mike Shannon. Over the years he has come up with some memorable quotes. One of my favorites was during a Cardinal game in New York, and during a break in the action, Shannon looked up in the sky and commented about what a beautiful full moon there was that evening. He went on to say he wished the people in St. Louis could see it!

About a base stealer, Shannon once quipped, "Sometimes you feel the urge, you've just gotta go." Or how about when Joe Buck said to the 73-year old former Cardinal outfielder/third baseman, "Mike, the Cardinals would like to welcome a group of 19 French foreign exchange students in Section 382 today." Shannon replied, "Where are they from, Joe?" Buck replied, "Uhhh...France...I think."

Which brings me to this week's "Did You Know?" Most Razorback fans know that Frank Broyles' first head coaching job was at the University of Missouri in 1957, but did you know that one of Broyles' quarterbacks was none other than Mike Shannon. Shannon had been a school boy star in St. Louis in both football and baseball and landed at Missouri on a football scholarship. The future Cardinal said that had football players been paid more in his era, he would have pursued a professional football career, but instead, after one year at Mizzou, Shannon began his professional baseball career in the St. Louis Cardinal organization. According to Broyles, had Shannon stuck with football, he might have won a Heisman trophy.

As Shannon once said, "I wouldn't have seen it, if I hadn't believed it."

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