Knights first baseman Luke Shannahan shares goals, inspirations, and passion for baseball
From Jacksonville Florida, Luke Shannahan is a first baseman who is playing in his first summer season with the West Palm Beach Knights. Shannahan is also a sophomore attending Pensacola State college. Over the weekend, Shannahan was able to take the time out of his schedule and give his perspective on how the season has been so far, what he plans to improve on, why he committed to Pensacola State, who his idols were growing up and keys to being successful in baseball.
Shannahan began playing baseball at an early age, and his love for the game has grown since. “I’ve played baseball my whole life and haven’t stopped. I love the relaxed environment and catching barrels the most,” Shannahan wrote in a message.
While Shannahan began watching baseball in his youth, a family influence helped him decide his rooting interest going forward. “I love the Yankees for no good reason other than my pops made me a Yankees fan.” As for players, Miguel Cabrera and Mariano Rivera are two that Shannahan admired during their careers. “They both are incredible humans and ballers at their jobs.”
Shannahan attended St. John’s Country Day School located in Orange Park, Florida. During his time there, Shannahan was introduced to the position he currently plays for West Palm: first base. “I first played first base as a sophomore in high school and really loved it.” But that wasn’t the only position Shannahan played at, as in the beginning, Shannahan played third base, a spot he looks to return to at some point. “I’ve always played third growing up and hopefully will play that spot in the future as well.”
A lot goes into playing first base, such as making sure you don’t go off base to keep the runner out even with difficult catches to make, while also being alert for a pickoff to keep a runner close to base or even get them out. Having the physical tools such as good hands to catch balls and quick feet to make plays is needed to succeed in baseball, but Shannahan mentioned that it’s more than just being a superior athlete to be a successful first baseman. “Having a good baseball IQ is important in first base because you’re involved in a lot of plays.”
An element in baseball that Shannahan values a lot is being in the right environment, which is why Shannahan decided to play for Pensacola State College. Shannahan joined the Pirates in 2021, and mentioned team success and impactful coaches as two main reasons he’s there now. “I committed to PSC because the coaching staff is great and they had won states the year before I got there. It’s a great place to get better and win ball games.”
For the summer season, Shannahan believes continued success for himself and the team can be built off having a positive mindset while enjoying the moment. “Individually, just trusting the work I’ve put in and having fun. And as a team, just continuing to play hard and have good energy.”
Shannahan’s impact has already been made for West Palm, as a big RBI triple was hit versus the Delray Beach Lightning to expand the lead for the Knights. Shannahan has noticed improvement as the games have gone by, and looks to continue the upward trend. “My at bats have progressively gotten better over the last three games and my focus is to keep that progression and have fun with it.”