Cardinals legend Mike Shannon credits fan with saving him from COVID


ST. LOUIS – On his 82nd birthday, Thursday, Cardinals legend Mike Shannon talked to Fox 2 News about a fan he credits with helping to save his life from COVID-19.   That fan has become a friend.   

Shannon attended a birthday bash at his restaurant in Edwardsville. The long-time Cardinals player and broadcaster noted someone very important was missing.     

It was Cardinals fan, Rich O’Neal. He had to work and couldn’t make the party. In May, Fox 2 reported on O’Neal and his “Mike Shannon” autographed ball.  

O’Neal is a vice-president for Regeneron, makers of one of the top drugs for treating COIVD-19. Part of his job is to get the medication to the most people possible.  

One of those people turned out to be Mike Shannon.   

“I’d be dead if it wasn’t for this guy,” Shannon said. “His name is O’Neal. he and his wife live out in St. Charles.”   

In their home is that prized “Mike Shannon” ball, which Rich saw at a souvenir stand in the Houston Astro’s spring training stadium in Florida, the very same day he’d read a news article about Regeneron’s medication helping Shannon get better.    

“I got out of the hospital, let’s put it that way,” Shannon laughed.  

“I told the doctor, ‘I’m leaving tomorrow. If I have to leave naked, I’ll leave naked.’ he said, ‘I believe you.’ He let me out. Anyway if it wasn’t for Mr. O’Neal, I’d be a dead man … he bought that ball and he saved my tail.”   

After Fox 2’s interview about O’Neal and the baseball, Shannon took Rich and his wife out to dinner.   

Soon, they’ll be hooking up again.   Shannon has invited O’Neal to be his guest in the broadcast booth during an upcoming Cardinals game.   

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