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Stan “The Man” Musial–RIP

Legendary Cardinal Stan Musial, one of baseball’s great hitters, died today at age 92.

I’ve never been a Cards fan, but it’s hard not to have been a Musial fan. By all accounts a great guy, his stats are stellar: career batting average of .331; 3,63o hits; 475 home runs; 1951 RBIs; three time MVP.  No steroids–just pure talent. And he played for 22 years.

I remember him well, which tells you I’m an old Ricocheteer.

  1. Joker

    First game I ever saw was Stan’s last in Philadelphia, Old Connie Mack thing, Wish I had more early experiences like that, Not a boo out of the ridiculously exaggeated Philly fans, two standing o’s

  2. Hartmann von Aue

    Dear TR: Thanks for posting this. We are Cardinals fans here, and the man was a baseball great with few equals and fewer superiors. 

  3. thelonious

    Musial was amazingly consistent.  He had 1815 hits at home and 1815 hits on the road.  Didn’t matter where he played.  He was lethal at any park.  Earl Weaver deserves some mention as well.  He was ahead of his time.  He was one of the first “moneyball” type managers.    He understood on base percentage was more important than batting average and small ball tactics like bunting and stolen bases weren’t very beneficial.  His contribution to the game was much more than his creative turn your hat around so you can get nose to nose with the umpire proceeded by kicking dirt on home plate arguing style and his hatred of his underwear model pretty boy ace Jim Palmer.  He also was ejected in both games of a double header.  A bit of a hot head but a baseball genius as well.

  4. DubyaC

    I remenber him well – less than 600 career strike-outs - IIRC — a season’s worth for today’s players.  A great  player and always a gentleman and a class act.  RIP

  5. Ursula Hennessey
    C

    So much to love about Stan Musial. And so many fun tidbits to read about him here and here. But, I think this is my favorite way to remember The Man … something about watching the old footage … something about the wonderful coincidence of his final at bat, linking him to the next generation, for better or [and] worse … 

    Take a watch:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-MkfzSy4p8

  6. EJHill

    When Albert Pujols signed with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim the team rented billboards around LA with the phrase “El Hombre” on them. Pujols, late of the Cardinals, was upset. “The Man” was in St. Louis and his number 6 was retired. The team took down the ads very quickly.

  7. Ursula Hennessey
    C

    From one Cardinal to another. Dolan weighs in.

  8. 3rd angle projection

    Ah, Stan the Man. He really was the man!

    Also, Earl Weaver got kicked out of the game today as well. But not by Luciano.

    Baseball lost 2 icons today.

    Rest in peace.

  9. Mollie Hemingway
    C

    Another one of my favorite stats of the best player of the best team in the land?

    Married to Lil for just under 72 years. She died in May.

  10. Whiskey Sam

    My grandfather was stationed with him and Bill Dickey in Pearl Harbor in 1945.  He used to tell me stories about what fine ballplayers they were, and more importantly, what fine men they were.  

  11. Michael S. Malone
    C

    Stan Musial was my childhood hero — even though he was an aging ballplayer on the brink of retirement.  There was just something magnificent about him — I think even as a little boy I picked up on the respect in which others (like Warren Spahn) held him.  He may not have been the greatest ballplayer of all time (though he was close), but he was certainly the greatest person to ever play major league baseball.

  12. Israel P.
    tabula rasa

    Legendary Cardinal Stan Musial, one of baseball’s great hitters, died today at age 92.

    <snip>

    And he played for 22 years.

    None of them as a designated hitter.

    (I saw him play a few times in Forbes Field.)

  13. tigerlily

    As great as he was as a  ballplayer, Stan was even a better man.

  14. KC Mulville

    When I was doing graduate school in the Jesuits at St. Louis University during the mid-1980s, we were expected to do “side” ministries, beyond the normal coursework. I was asked to help out at a local Catholic church in the eastern rite, an opportunity I jumped at because I wanted to learn more about the eastern rite. I was all excited. They gave me the address, and I showed up.

    Oh no. It was a storefront church. I thought, great … about ten people are going to show up. And I was right.

    But one of them was Stan Musial. Another was his wife.

    Turns out that Stan was the perfect gentleman, just like you’d have expected. But Mrs. Musial was a star. She was as gracious to me as she could be.

    I’m a big baseball fan, but I never saw Stan play. But in the few times I met them, I couldn’t have been more impressed with the Musials as good, solid people. They were wonderful.

    May they rest in peace.

  15. Mr. Dart

    Mr. Musial hit 725 doubles and 177 triples in his career.  That means he went full tilt around first base more than any other player in MLB history.  Outside of St. Louis he never seemed to get the credit he deserved.  But Brooklyn Dodgers fans knew how great he was.  They gave him his nickname, The Man.  Not That Man Musial… THE Man.

    As for Mr. Weaver, he gave his own epitaph to sportswriter Tom Boswell back in 1986: “On my tombstone just write, ‘The sorest loser who ever lived.’”  He was all of that– and proud of it. 

    But beyond his nasty on-field demeanor, as thelonius says above, he understood that you only get 27 outs to work with and you shouldn’t waste them on sac bunts and stolen base attempts unless the situation absolutely demands it.  On defense you can’t let one of the other team’s 27 outs go unrecorded through sloppy defense or walks.  He sure didn’t invent that theory but he did revive it as a solid way to win at baseball.

    Two Hall of Famers gone.  Couldn’t be more different as men, but both winners on the field.

  16. Oranjeman
    DubyaC: I remenber him well – less than 600 career strike-outs - IIRC — a season’s worth for today’s players.  A great  player and always a gentleman and a class act.  RIP · 18 hours ago

    Not to quibble but that’s way off: 223 is the most for a season.  600 at bats is near to what an entire season’s offering would be; but still, 600 over 20 years is still very impressive, especially for a home run hitter.

  17. Margaret Sarah

    I got to see him play as a child.

    Later I learned about his many charities in St. Louis and elsewhere. Even while he was still playing, and on the road, he would visit children in hospitals or go to kids’ games. And he was an enthusiastic greeter of new Cardinals, encouraging them at the start of their careers.

    A great example of what a “sports hero” ought to be.

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