KMOX broadcaster Mike Claiborne is the definition of professional. He’s always prepared, knows his stuff, and presents in a calm, fact-based way.
There are only a few Black people playing major roles with Major League Baseball broadcasts like Claiborne does with the St. Louis Cardinals.
He just completed his 16th season as a part of the Cardinals broadcast team with John Rooney and Ricky Horton. It was his first without his friend Mike Shannon who retired after the 2021 season.
He has penned a column for the St. Louis American, along with covering seven St. Louis Cardinals World Series (1982, 1985, 1987, 2004, 2006, 2011, 2013) in addition to championship boxing, the NBA Finals, Stanley Cup Finals.
If there is a sport in St. Louis, he has mot likely covered it. He has been a color analyst for Saint Louis University basketball and Missouri-St. Louis basketball, a studio host for St. Louis Blues hockey and St. Louis Rams and a contributor for Fox Sports Midwest.
He was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 2021, and last weekend he was bestowed with the Bob Burnes/Bob Broeg Award during the annual Jack Buck Awards at the Missouri Athletic Club.
I think Claiborne’s best moment on the air is when he contested the late Bob Feller’s ridiculous views on Latino baseball players.
“A lot of the players coming from the Caribbean, they don’t even know the rules.” Feller said during a KFNS interview.
Claiborne offered Feller repeated chances to explain his comment, which obviously irritated the guest. “If you don’t be quiet, I’m going to cut this off,” Feller bellowed.
“You can cut it off right now as far as I’m concerned, you racist,” Claiborne said.
Feller hung up, and later Claiborne called him a not-to-pleasant name other than racist. Claiborne said he regretted the word choice, but not standing up to Feller.
“When he says the Caribbean players don’t even know the rules, that raises a flag. So, I said, ‘What do you mean?’ He didn’t want to address it. I tried to politely ask him; I wasn’t trying to hang him out to dry. I’ve been doing this for 25 years. That’s not how I do business. He got offended by it, but I said what I said, and I stand by it.”
Great job, Mike. Now find the Cardinals some starting pitchers.
The Reid Roundup
I wonder what Missouri men’s basketball coach Dennis Gates thinks of his fan base now that he got a real look at it during KU’s 95-67 beat down of the host Tigers last Saturday?…Among those hurling insults during the blowout was Missouri football coach Eli Drinkwitz. Embarrassing…Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts now has my vote for NFL MVP vote over Kansas City signal-caller Patrick Mahomes.I don’t have a vote, by the way…Joel Embiid scored 53 points Philadelphia’s 131-113 win over Charlotte last Sunday. It was his second 50-plus point game as a 76er, and only two other players have at least two games in which they topped 50 points for the franchise. They are Wilt Chamberlain and Alan Iverson…Steve Wilks was named interim head coach of the Carolina Panthers after Matt Rhule was fired eight games ago. Since Wilks took over. his team has gone 4-3 and is one game out of first place in the mediocre NFC South Division. After last Sunday’s upset win over host Seattle, Wilks praised his players and put his franchise on notice. “With everything that we’ve gone through, with the different coaching changes, getting rid of players, the organization trying to tank it.” I doubt Wilks will be back next season…A rarity: two Black coaches will square off next week in Charlotte. Wilks and Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin…Sylvester Croom became the Southeastern Conference's first Black head football coach with Mississippi State in 2004. Eighteen seasons later, there been just four others. Currently there are no Black head football coaches in the 14-team SEC. “There's definitely not enough progress. It's almost 20 years now, and the fact that we still have to have these conversations is disappointing and it's frustrating.” …Sixteen major college football vacancies have been filled, and only one job has been landed by a Black man: Deion Sanders at Colorado…