In his St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame acceptance speech last month, Mike Shannon spoke from the heart about his love for the organization stating ““A guy from St. Louis, born and reared here, I think this is my city, my state, and my Cardinals.”
It would be hard to imagine any other scenario, yet in the newly released 2014 St. Louis Cardinals Yearbook, Joe Torre shares that Shannon almost went to Philadelphia as part of the trade of Curt Flood to Philadelphia after the 1969 season. Torre recounts a conversation he had with then General Manager Bing Divine before the trade…
“He asked me about playing third base, and I said I’d be happy to. Because I think (third baseman) Mike Shannon was supposed to be in the Flood deal, too, but then he got sick.”
“Philadelphia was trying to get me–even in Spring Training,” confirmed Shannon. “I got sick and it all fell through.”
Shannon had nephritis, a kidney ailment, which wound up ending his playing career in August of 1970.
Apparently, the proposed trade with Philadelphia wasn’t the only time Shannon was almost dealt.
“I was involved in a couple of them that just never matured–one was with Boston,” said Shannon, who laughed that rumors were the same back in the late 60’s just as today–even without social media.
“Rumors were rumors, you know how they start. It’s just with social media they have more gasoline.”
As for how different life would be not just for himself but for all of Cardinals National if the deal had gone through, the recent Hall of Famer reminded of the old adage…
“Some of the best deals ever are the ones that they don’t make.”
photo credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports