Cardinals' Mike Shannon recovering from heart surgery

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 | 7:10 p.m. CDT

ST. LOUIS — Mike Shannon, the former St. Louis Cardinals third baseman who has been a popular radio broadcaster for the team for more than 40 years, is recovering after heart surgery.

The Cardinals said Wednesday that Shannon, 74, is resting comfortably and is expected to make a full recovery. He had surgery Monday to replace his aorta valve. The team said the surgery had been planned for some time.

Shannon, in a statement through the team, thanked well-wishers and said he expects to return to the broadcast booth before the end of the regular season. A rotation of replacements — former Cardinals pitchers Al Hrabosky and Rick Horton, and broadcaster Mike Claiborne — will join John Rooney in the radio booth through Sept. 23. Shannon is expected back after that, the team said.

"I'm looking forward to getting back in the booth and back to the game I love," he said.

Shannon, a St. Louis native, played on three World Series teams during a nine-year career from 1962 to 1970, all with the Cardinals. He hit .255 with 68 homers for his career, which was cut short by kidney disease.

With Shannon as a starter, the Cardinals won the World Series over the Yankees in 1964 and over the Red Sox in 1967. They lost in seven games to Detroit in 1968.

He joined the radio broadcast starting in 1972, paired for many years with Hall of Fame broadcaster Jack Buck, who died in 2002.

Shannon is a popular figure in St. Louis, known for his colorful stories, good-natured humor, and his "Get up, baby! Get up! Get up!" call when Cardinals hitters hit long drives.

Shannon has skipped occasional road trips in recent years.

Shannon was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 1999, both for his on-the-field and on-air accomplishments.

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