'Swanee' to enter Missouri Sports HOF

December 16th, 2021

KANSAS CITY -- Capping off an award-winning and legendary career, Royals vice president of communications and broadcasting Mike Swanson will be among the 21 sports figures and teams inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in February 2022. He joins president of baseball operations Dayton Moore, who was inducted last January.

Swanson, known throughout the industry as “Swanee,” is retiring at the end of the month after a 43-year career in baseball, the last 15 spent as the head of the Royals’ public relations department. He grew up in Raytown, Mo., and began his sports career in the equipment room of the Kansas City Chiefs in the late 1960s and early ’70s. His first stint with the Royals began in 1973, the first of six seasons he spent as an intern in the media relations department.

Swanson spent 21 of his 43 years in baseball representing his hometown Royals, and he played a major part in the team that won back-to-back American League pennants and the World Series in 2015. (He has also worked with the Padres, Rockies and D-backs.)

Swanson is widely respected across the industry, from players to front-office personnel, from public relations colleagues to the media. In 2002, while with the D-backs, he won the prestigious Robert O. Fishel Award for Public Relations Excellence.

The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame’s annual induction ceremony is set for Feb. 6, 2022, at Ozark Empire Fairgrounds in Springfield, Mo. In addition to Swanson, the members of the Class of 2022 are Willie Roaf (Kansas City Chiefs), Matt Holliday (St. Louis Cardinals), Forest Lucas (founder of Lucas Oil), Ken Morrow (member of the 1980 Miracle on Ice hockey team), Rich Gould (TV sports director), Julie Dorn (Missouri gymnastics), Jay Osborne (Nixa High School boys’ basketball coach), Tim Poe (Central Missouri men’s golf coach), Steve Hesser (Drury University men’s basketball coach), Jon Leamy (Missouri State men’s soccer coach), Don Peterson (scuba expert), Randy Magers (Missouri State baseball and basketball standout), Larry Whiteley (Bass Pro Shops), West Plains High School Volleyball Era 1984-1991, Grain Valley High School Cheerleading Program, Coach Rick Byers and the St. Pius X Football Era 1998-2002, Helias Catholic High School Boys Golf Program, Bryan Properties (John Q. Hammons Founder’s Award), Bonnie Keller (Ace Award) and Craig Curry (President’s Award).

Swanson’s final official day with the Royals is Dec. 31, although he will serve as a consultant next season. The Royals have named Sam Mellinger, a longtime Kansas City Star sportswriter and columnist, as their new vice president of communications.