Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that I would ever have the opportunity to meet St. Louis Cardinal Broadcaster Mike Shannon let alone become a close friend as well. This man is one of the nicest people you would ever want to meet.

So when he called me three years ago and asked me if there was any place around Quincy that he could visit and talk baseball I suggested the Illinois Veteran's Home.  With one phone call to Rick Gengenbacher at the Vet's Home we were scheduled and off we went to talk to the guys and gals at the home.  Mike and I spent about two hours talking baseball and you could quickly see that it was Mike who was having more fun than anyone there. He loved listening to the stories of the veterans and fielding questions about the St. Louis Cardinals past and present.

That was three years ago.  Last Friday marked the third annual visit that Mike and I have made to the Vet's home. His passion remains and his concern for these veteran's is paramount. He has high praise for the workers at the Veteran's Home as well and shares his time with them as well.

Each year he also brings up Cardinal caps and other items for gifts to pass out.  Here's a guy who doesn't have to do any of this and he gladly looks forward to doing it. His schedule is congested but he will always find time to schedule this visit. I too look forward to his call to set up our next visit.

As I mentioned, Mike is a great guy and has a passion for people. I for one am glad God put me in a position that I could meet him. I can't wait to hook up with him again in a few weeks at spring training in Florida.