Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Counting the minutes Until the Season starts!


We here in the midwest are especially blessed to have the World Champion Saint Louis Cardinals nearby. For who hasn't tuned in to KMOX, or one of the Cardinals' affiliates, on a warm summer's night, to breathlessly listen to the Cards?
Moreover, it was entirely due to the broadcasting skills of Jack Buck and Mike Shannon that many many young guys, myself included, found their first loves, Baseball.

Jack Buck was just extraordinary in his ability to so accurately describe the game, that this little boy often found himself stealing second base, right along with Lou Brock, or chasing down that long fly ball to deep Centerfield with Willie McGee or Lightnin' Lonnie Smith, or slamming a clutch homerun with Mark McGwire. That you could 'see' the game on the radio was never questioned, had you ever listened to these guys!!

Jack is gone now, but is ably replaced by his son Joe on occasion. Also, there have been two other play-by-play announcers, including Wayne Hagin and John Rooney, who completed his first year last year, with that World Series championship!

But of all that, with all that, there's even more! For over the years, listeners to the grand old game have been entertained by Mike Shannon's frequent slips of the tongue. Certainly due in large part to the fact that the Budweiser or Busch beer flowed freely in the radio box, and both Shannon and Buck often dialed up a cold frosty beer, if the game got boring or ugly, or outta hand. And over the years, the "Shannonisms" have accumulated. Here are some of my favorites, as I prepare for yet another season with my first love, the St. Louis Cardinals:
(get ready to say "say whut??")

Shannonisms through 2005:
• "This big standing-room-only crowd is settling into their seats."
• "It's raining out there like a Chinese fire drill!"
• (After Brian Jordan was hit by a pitch for the 4th time on a single road trip):
"Jordan must feel like a Ouija Board."
• (Referring to Bernard Gilkey):
"He was originally born in University City."
"He's faster than a chicken being chased by Ronald McDonald!"
• (Referring to Mike Schmidt):"the longtime, and soon-to-be, Hall-of-Famer."
• (Referring to Pitcher Hideo Nomo):"He's the biggest thing to hit Japan since they dropped the bomb on Nagashima!"
• "This game is off to a rather conspicuous start, don't you think. Jack?"
• "Well, folks, this game began as a tiny worm, and is blossoming into a large cobra."
• "That foul tip bounced up and caught him right in the groins...and that'll really clear your eyes out."
• "A hit up the middle right now would be like a nice ham sandwich and a cold, frosty one."
• (Broadcasting from New York under a full moon):
"I wish you folks back in St. Louis could see this moon."
• (On the day before Easter):"I just want to tell everyone 'Happy Easter and Happy Hanukkah.'"
• "Things are not always as they appear to be as."
• "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."
• "Our next homestand follows this road trip."
• (Referring to a home run by Ted Simmons):"and that's the bread on Simmons' butter."
• "The right-hander is throwing up (instead of 'up, throwing') in the bullpen."
• "I've heard it said that if you know English, Spanish, Italian, and I think it's French, you can go just about anywhere in this world...except China where they have all those derelicts."After a pause, Joe Buck suggested that Mike has meant to say "dialects."
Mike responded, "Yeah, dialects! That's what I mean...but they've got a lot of derelicts too!"
• "He ran to second faster than a cat in Chinatown."
• "I wouldn't have seen it if I hadn't believed it."
• "Don't bite off your head to spite your nose."
• Joe: "Mike, the Cardinals would like to welcome a group of 19 French foreign exchange students in Section 382.
"Mike: "Where're they from, Joe?"
Joe: "Uhh, France, I think."
• A couple of years back, Mike and Joe were discussing the unflattering photographs of players that had been flashed on the screen at another ballpark. Mike's take on the quality of the photo selection was:"Some of those guys look like the picture was taken while they were seeing their first UFO."
After several seconds of laughter, Joe added, "As opposed to their second or third."
• "The wind switched 360 degrees."
• "Boy, a cold, frosty Budweiser would be great about now"...long pause...then an "ahhh"
• Mike's classic: "Ol' Abner Doubleday has done it again." (Meaning that the teams' best hitters were due up in the 9th)
• "It's raining so hard I thought it was going to stop."
• "The crowd's on their feet for the Canadian Star Bangled Banner."
• "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."
. Referring to Milwaukee's pitcher and catcher, Dave Bush and Damian Miller:
"That's an intoxicating battery out there tonight... Bush and Miller!"

4 comments:

Abouna said...

Yippee! Just two weeks before spring and the start of baseball season.

We have a local team in my area. They are the Rochester Red Wings and I love attending home games with my sons. I enjoy the sights, sounds and smells;

The crack of the bat, roar of the crowd, the smells of peanuts and pop corn, the players warming up in the bull pen.

What fun!

Looks like you comouter is working fine now.

The Localmalcontent said...

Better acting computer, at least!
It took over 30 minutes to delete a music file, "Star Trek" from the music file on the hard disc. Maybe because the file was called "Startrek", get it?
start rek? Dunno, but I'm glad it's subsided for now!

Anonymous said...

What fun memories these are for me!
I grew up listening to the Detroit Tigers games, or the Cin. Reds games, but on good nights, from Saskatchewan, where I lived then. I'd listen to the Cardinals, from station KMOX, St. Louis, in my youth, in the 60s and 70s. And I can recall one other "Shannonism" you might like:
on a night when St louis played the Pitt. Pirates, and both teams were way out of contention, maybe '73 or '74, so no one attended the game, announcer Jack Buck told his audience that the night's attendance there at 3-Rivers Stadim consisted of Mr. and Mrs. Del Bankhead, and Mr. Lyle Smoot and his three children!!!

I could not get off the floor, for my laughter!
Have another great season Cardinals

The Localmalcontent said...

What a HOOT!! Instant laughs! And yes, I can imagine hearing Buck and Shannon saying something like that!

Thank you for sharing that cool memory, alright? LMC.