Here’s a 1970 “Nicknames of the 1970’s” card for “Moonman” Mike Shannon, who played his entire Major League career with his hometown St. Louis Cardinals from 1962 until a kidney ailment ended his career at the age of only 30:
Shannon’s Big League career was pretty much split between the outfield
and third base, playing full-time between 1965 and 1969 and being a part
of both Cardinal championship teams in 1964 and 1967.
He earned the name “Moonman” for one of two reasons according to SABR:
while in the Minors he dodged a pitch while at-bat so slowly that
teammates said it looked like a “moon man”, or, according to Hall of
Famer Bob Gibson, Shannon was known to start talking, shifting from
topic to topic so quickly that by the time he was done you’d be walking
away “scratching your head, trying to figure out what he just said.”
Sadly, inn 1970, while still in the prime of his career, he contracted
“nephritis”, a kidney disease, which ended his playing days.
With that setback, Shannon shifted careers and became a radio/tv
commentator for the Cardinals, something he would do to to this very
In 2014 he was elected to the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame for his
life-long tenure with the organization as player and tv personality,
reaching over 60 years including his Minor League days.