Mike Shannon was Honored by Mo. Sports Hall of Fame at Baseball Luncheon Wednesday

From Press Release

Jerald Andrews, the CEO & Executive Director of the Mo. Sports Hall of Fame presented Cardinals broadcaster Mike Shannon with the Pinnacle Award at the Missouri Sports HOF Baseball & Softball Luncheon on May 19.

Shannon’s Farewell Tour in his 50th and final season in the Cardinals broadcast booth swung through Springfield, Mo. as the iconic broadcaster headlined the luncheon. The Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr Pepper Bottling Company,  luncheon was held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, May 19 at the Ozarks Empire Fairgrounds.

Now in his 64th year with the St. Louis Cardinals organization – and his 50th and final season on the team’s radio broadcasts – Shannon was bestowed the Pinnacle Award for his lifetime of service to the game. The award will mark the third Missouri Sports Hall of Fame honor for Shannon, who was inducted in 1999 and was named a Missouri Sports Legend in 2013. Overall, Shannon has been a part of 10 Cardinals World Series teams – three as a player and seven in the radio booth.

“I will always be a Cardinal. I think I personify the Cardinals fan-ship. The fans are tremendous. I’d like to think I helped educate them about the game and the organization,” Shannon told the Mo. Sports HOF, “Of course, I’d like to have 50 more (years) to be quite honest. But I’m 81 years old for crimeny sakes.”

The Cardinals signed Shannon as a minor league free agent in 1958 after the St. Louis native spent a season quarterbacking the University of Missouri Tigers. He later played nine seasons in the big leagues, all for St. Louis, from 1962 to 1970. His career toured through three World Series (1964, 1967, 1968). In fact, his game-tying home run off the Yankees’ Whitey Ford in Game 1 of the 1964 Series propelled the Cardinals to the victory and, ultimately, to their first World Series championship since 1946. Shannon played right field and third base through his career and, after a year in promotions, landed in the radio booth. His radio career has included covering the club’s 1982, 1985, 1987, 2004, 2006, 2011 and 2013 World Series teams.

Additionally at the luncheon, the Hall of Fame inducted longtime baseball coach John Hartley, University of Central Missouri softball standout Mandee Berg Holeyfield, Missouri State slugger Jason Hart and the St. Elizabeth High School Softball & Baseball Programs. Joplin golf contributor Sonnie Dooley also will be enshrined. She was to be honored in the spring of 2020 but opted out due to the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the Hall of Fame will bestow its President’s Award on David Gibbs, the longtime Regional Sales Manager of Dr Pepper. Additionally, the Hall of Fame will recognize Steve Moore for his service on the Board of Trustees since the year 2000.

“We are fortunate that we can say a huge ‘thank you’ and give a standing ovation once more to Mike Shannon for all that he has done for the game. And we know many baseball fans will want to as well,” Andrews said. “This will certainly be one of our most special events, especially with the Class of 2021. Our honorees made tremendous impacts in their communities and to the game, too.”

The Hall of Fame also will celebrate the Diamond 9 Awards presented by BJS Trophy, which recognize former players who were standouts in high school and college and made positive impacts in the game. This year’s honorees will be: Mannie DeCastro (Carl Junction High School/Pittsburg State University), Judy Straatmann Hadsall (Washington High School/East Central College/Springfield Slow-Pitch), Gage Jacobs (Bolivar High School/Drury University), Catlin Evans Jones (Pleasant Hope High School/Southwest Baptist University), Alan Mahaffey (Kickapoo High School/Three Rivers Community College/University of Arkansas/Minnesota Twins), Justin McMillin (Hillcrest High School/Missouri State University), Willy Morgan (Branson High School/Frank Phillips Junior College/College of the Ozarks), Tod Sundlie (Ozark High School/Lubbock Christian University) and Pam Mayfield Swift (Ash Grove High School/Missouri Southern State University).

Tickets already are on sale. A sponsorship table of eight is $400 and includes an autographed print, as well as recognition at the table and in the printed program. A head table ticket is $100 and includes the same perks. An individual ticket is $50, or $60 at the door. Numerous sponsorships are available, including congratulatory ads. Call 417-889-3100.

David Gibbs – President’s Award

The Hall of Fame will bestow its President’s Award on Gibbs, who was Dr Pepper’s Regional Sales Manager from 1997 until retiring in 2020. The award is presented to individuals who champion the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame and sports across the state. Gibbs ensured that Dr Pepper supported Hall of Fame events such as Celebrity Golf Classics and induction ceremonies. Among them was the Stan Musial Hall of Fame Championship, which Dr Pepper sponsored for five years. Additionally, Gibbs played an important role in Ozarks children’s charities benefitting from the PGA Korn Ferry Tour’s Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper. The company became a presenting sponsor nearly 20 years ago for a tournament that has now gifted more than $17.4 million to children’s charities – with roughly 90 percent donated during Dr Pepper’s involvement. Over the years, Gibbs served on the Board of Trustees of the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame and worked with or sponsored events of the Boy Scouts of America, United Way, Boys and Girls Club, Cattle Barons Ball of Southwest Missouri-American Cancer Society and the FedEx St. Jude PGA Invitational. Gibbs is a 1976 graduate of Ritenour High School in St. Louis, where he played baseball and was selected to the All-Suburban North Team and All-St. Louis Metro Team. He played baseball at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at Drury University.

John Hartley – Coach

A graduate of Springfield’s Central High School and Oakland City (Ind.) University, Hartley earned 1,143 wins combined as a high school, American Legion and travel baseball coach. At Willard High School (1985-2007, 358 wins), Hartley’s 1991 (third place) and 2003 teams (state runner-up) reached the Final Four. His Tigers also won seven district titles and six Central Ozark Conference championships. His Willard Legion teams earned 352 wins. He also was 116-47 in leading Kickapoo’s American Legion teams, with the 1984 club placing third and the 1985 club finishing as state runner-up. At New Covenant Academy (2015-2020, 92-36 record), his 2016 team was the Class 1 state runner-up. Additionally, Hartley was an associate scout for the Kansas City Royals (1992-2008) and Baltimore Orioles (2011-2013) and the head coach for Team Missouri at the 2004 Sunbelt Games. He also coached the Midwest Nationals (2005-2012, 225 wins), with the 2005 team winning the national championship in Premier Baseball, and led College of the Ozarks for three seasons. In 2014, Hartley helped launch 417 Baseball, which grew from one team to 20 teams by 2020. It recently merged with the Midwest Nationals and Missouri Titans to form Marucci Midwest Baseball and Softball.

 

Mandee Berg Holeyfield – Blue Springs High School/University of Central Missouri

Holeyfield had an outstanding collegiate pitching career at the University of Central Missouri from 1994 to 1997, landing all over the record book. She was a three-time NCAA Division II All-American and a four-time All-Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) selection – including First Team All-MIAA in her junior and senior seasons. When she graduated, she held the Jennies’ career records for appearances (132), complete games (78), innings pitched (671.1), wins (85), win percentage (.794), saves (12) and lowest earned run average (1.26). She also held records for shutouts (23), strikeouts (639) and strikeouts per seven innings (6.67). Holeyfield received the Vernon Kennedy Award as the 1997 UCM Outstanding Athlete, and was the MIAA MVP in 1997. All that came after a stellar career at Blue Springs High School, where Holeyfield was all-conference and All-Metro her senior year, when she was 11-3 with a 0.92 ERA. She later coached seven years at Truman High School in Independence. She is now a social worker for the Independence School District.

Jason Hart – Fair Grove High School/Missouri State/Oakland A’s & Texas Rangers

A Fair Grove High School graduate, Hart became the most prolific hitter in Missouri State history from 1996 to 1998. Collegiate Baseball recognized him as a Freshman All-American and an All-American again as a junior, when Baseball America magazine and the NCBWA (National Collegiate Writers Association) honored Hart with All-American recognition as well. He ended his collegiate career as the Bears’ all-time leader in five offensive categories, including home runs (63), RBI (203) and slugging percentage (.725). He hit a Missouri Valley Conference-best 28 home runs as a junior and ranked fourth in the conference in both batting (.416) and RBI (91). In fact, he became the first Bear to claim the team’s triple crown in consecutive seasons after leading MSU in homers, RBI and batting for the second straight year. A fifth-round draft pick of the Oakland Athletics, Hart was the 2000 TOPPS Minor League Baseball Player of the Year, after he hit 30 home runs and had 121 RBI in Double-A. He later played 10 big-league games in 2002, all for the Texas Rangers, and finished his pro career in 2006, two years after undergoing surgery to remove a non-malignant brain tumor. Hart spent the next 13 seasons as a hitting coach in the Rangers farm system. He is now working for Summit Truck Company in Springfield and also gives hitting lessons at CY Sports Center in Nixa.

St. Elizabeth High School Softball & Baseball Programs

St. Elizabeth High School fielded its first softball and baseball programs in 1951. Since 1991, they have combined to reach 15 Final Fours, including winning seven state championships, and each has had 38 All-State selections.

  • Softball Program: It has captured four state titles (1992, 1994, 2002, 2011), finished as a state runner-up in 1993 and 1997, and was fourth in 1991. The Hornets were led by coach Diane Juergensmeyer (MSHOF 2015) from 1980 to 2010, with Peggy Wieberg guiding the 2011 state championship team. It also reached the state quarterfinals in 1985, 1989, 1995, 2001, 2013 and 2019. Along the way, the softball program has won nine conference championships and 20 district titles (1978, 1979, 1985, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2019).
  • Baseball Program: It has won three state championships (1995, 1997, 2019) and was the state runner-up in 2018. The Hornets also placed third in 1996 while their 1984, 2010 and 2011 teams each placed fourth in the state. Chris Jackson coached the 1995 team, Doug Kemper guided the 1997 club, and Caleb Heckemeyer led the 2019 club. The program also counts five conference championships and 12 district titles, which cover 1980, 1984, 1985, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2010, 2011, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Sonnie Dooley – Golf

A graduate of Carl Junction High School, Dooley has been on the Joplin golf scene for decades, and her dedication to growing the sport in southwest Missouri is why she is being inducted as a contributor. Over the years, she has supported junior golf not only financially but also as an instructor and official. Her goal was not only to help shepherd junior golfers to success — by learning how to focus and control emotions – but also to become good citizens who would benefit the community and the game. Dooley, who has long been a member of Twin Hills Golf & Country Club, played for the Horton Smith Ladies Team from 1980 to 1990 and was team captain in 1988. She also won Twin Hills Ladies Club championships in 1992, 1995, 1998 and 2002, as well as numerous other tournaments. She won the Nutcracker and the Women’s Tri-State championship, and was a seven-time champion of the Mary Jane Landreth Tournament at Twin Hills.

DIAMOND 9 AWARDS

Mannie DeCastro – Carl Junction High School/Pittsburg State University

In high school, DeCastro earned All-State, All-Region and all-conference, and landed on the All-Joplin Globe Area team – and for good reasons. She hit just under .500 for her high school career at Carl Junction, with 12 home runs through three seasons. At Pittsburg State from 2009 to 2012, DeCastro was the program’s first two-time NCAA Division II All-American, earning the selection as a freshman and as a senior, and was a four-time All-MIAA selection, too. In 2012 as a senior, she also was the MIAA Player of the Year, three years after earning MIAA Freshman of the Year. DeCastro set single-season and career program records in home runs (17, 25), doubles (25, 66) and slugging percentage (.904, .757). She also holds the Gorillas’ third-best batting average (.394). She currently is a Parent Educator for Parents as Teachers through the Joplin School District.

Judy Straatmann Hadsall – Washington High School/East Central College/Springfield Slow-Pitch Teams

Hadsall was a four-year letter-winner in softball at Washington High School and then helped East Central College start its softball program. She emerged as one of the college’s better players and guided East Central to conference championship both seasons when she was on campus. Eventually, she joined the slow-pitch softball scene in Springfield in the late 1970s. Hadsall was a key member of Premier Springfield teams such as Coors, O’Byrne Electric, Ozarks Communications and Ozarks Express. In fact, she was recognized as the best outfielder in the area and among the best in the state, as her teams won eight state championships and a regional title. Her teams also played in eight consecutive national championships, finishing as high as ninth in 1981. These days, Hadsall is President & CEO of Multipli Credit Union in Springfield.

Gage Jacobs – Bolivar High School/Johnson County CC/Drury University

At Bolivar, Jacobs was a two-time All-State selection in Class 3 in the 2010 and 2011 seasons and graduated with 19 career wins, second-most in program history. In 2011 alone, he was the co-MVP of the Central Ozark Conference and the COC Pitcher of the Year after he fired two no-hitters and helped Bolivar win the conference. Jacobs then pitched two seasons for Johnson County Community College in Kansas, striking out 108 in 90 innings. In two seasons covering 65.2 innings at Drury, he set the career earned run average record (2.74) and is No. 2 all-time in saves (19). His 13 saves in 2015 are a single-season record, and he had 29 appearances that year – third-most in one season. Jacobs was an All-Midwest Region selection by the American Baseball Coaches Association and All-Great Lakes Valley Conference as a junior. This year marks his third as pitching coach at Drury University.

 

Catlin Evans Jones – Pleasant Hope High School/Southwest Baptist University

Jones was a two-time First Team All-State catcher for Pleasant Hope in 2011 and 2012, which were memorable seasons for the Lady Pirates. The team was 55-3 those years as Pleasant Hope finished as a state runner-up her junior season and won the Class 2 state title a year later. Overall, the team was 99-15 in her four seasons. In fact, the 2009 third-place team was Pleasant Hope’s first softball team to reach a Final Four. At Southwest Baptist, Jones started all 161 games in her three-year career and is all over the record book there. Career-wise, her 147 hits rank seventh, while she is first in sacrifice bunts (33), tied for fourth in runs scored (76), third in stolen bases (41) and set a single-season record for at-bats (196) in 2016.

Alan Mahaffey – Kickapoo High School/Three Rivers CC/University of Arkansas/Minnesota Twins

Mahaffey was a two-time All-State selection at Kickapoo High School. In college, he played two seasons at Three Rivers Community College followed by one season at the University of Arkansas. At Three Rivers, he was a Juco All-American and pitched two no-hitters. At Arkansas, he struck out 91 in 100 innings and issued only 42 walks – all covering 19 games. He finished 9-5 with a 4.50 earned run average and was a 16th-round draft pick of the Minnesota Twins in 1995. In pro baseball, Mahaffey pitched six seasons, including a stint with the Chicago Cubs, reaching Triple-A Salt Lake in the 1999 and 2000 seasons. He later was a coach for the Springfield-based Midwest Nationals, coaching more than 100 players who went on to college. That included two first-round draft picks and a future Cy Young Award winner in Dallas Keuchel. Mahaffey lives in Guthrie Center, Iowa, and is President of the Heart of Iowa Mutual Insurance Association.

Justin McMillin – Hillcrest High School/Missouri State University

McMillin was a two-time all-conference pitcher and helped Hillcrest’s 1988 team win a state championship. He also was part of four conference and three district titles, and signed with Missouri State University. After college, McMillin was William Jewell College’s pitching coach and recruiting coordinator (1992-1998) and was pitching coach at Hillcrest (2000-2003), Nixa (2003-2012) and Rogersville (2013-2015). Hillcrest’s 2002 American Legion team won a state championship. In his Nixa years, the Eagles won their first conference championship as well as three district titles and made a quarterfinal appearance in 2008. Logan-Rogersville benefitted, too, from his work, as the Wildcats won three district titles and reached a pair of Final Fours. McMillin is in his sixth season as pitching coach at College of the Ozarks, which reached the NCCAA national semifinals in 2019. Overall, he has coached five pitchers who were drafted or signed by a Major League Baseball club. He also was a freelance sports writer for the News-Leader for several years.

Willy Morgan – Branson High School/Frank Phillips Junior College/College of the Ozarks

After attending Kirbyville schools, Morgan became a standout for Branson High School in the late 1980s and early 1990s, helping the Pirates reach state championship games in 1989 and 1992 as a leadoff hitter and center fielder. He earned All-State, All-Region, All-District and All-Central Ozark Conference and was selected to play in the Class 3 All-Star Game in 1992. His 33 steals that season remain a school record. He later played one season with Frank Phillips Junior College in Texas and finished his final three collegiate seasons at College of the Ozarks, where Morgan was a two-time all-conference selection and twice was C of O’s Defensive Player of the Year. In his final season, he ranked in the top 10 nationally in stolen bases. He has been a coach the past 24 years – 16 for Kirbyville and, the past eight, as Hollister High School’s softball coach. 

 

Tod Sundlie – Ozark High School/Lubbock Christian/Frontier League

Sundlie was among the Ozarks’ top high school players in the mid-1990s. At Ozark, he earned First Team All-State honors in 1995, when he also was First Team All-District and All-Central Ozark Conference. At Lubbock Christian, he was a two-time all-conference selection in the infield and outfield and was the first player to play all nine positions in one game, earning recognition in national publications. He ranks third in school history in runs scored (266), eighth in singles (191) and ninth in walks (167). Sundlie, who signed with the Springfield (Ill.) Capitals of the independent Frontier League in 1999, is now a teacher and wrestling coach at Ozark High School.

Pam Mayfield Swift – Ash Grove High School/Missouri Southern State University

A middle infielder, Swift played for Ash Grove from 1981 to 1984, earning all-district and helping the team to the sectionals before her graduation. Had the sport had an all-state list, she might have landed on it. After all, Swift went on to a stellar career at Missouri Southern, earning NAIA All-American and all-conference honors in her junior season. She has since given back to the game, coaching Ash Grove softball for 19 seasons and earning a 216-145 record. Two of her teams reached the state quarterfinals, and she guided three to district championships.

 

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