Stan Musial of the St.Louis Cardinals 1949 Bowman Reprint
Stan Musial started his career as a pitcher but after a
shoulder injury moved to the outfield in 1940. Musial played 1,890
games in the outfield and 1,016 games at first base, but was
primarily known for his consistent hitting. The left-hander led the
National League in batting average seven times and in on-base
percentage, slugging percentage, and hits six times each. He won the
National League Most Valuable Player award in 1943, 1946, and 1948,
and in 1957, received Sports Illustrated magazine" Sportsman of the
Year" award. He is one of only two players to hit five home runs in
one day - he did it in a doubleheader against the New York Giants in
1954 (Nate Colbert of the San Diego Padres also accomplished it in
His 3,630 career hits made him the NL's all-time leader on that
list at the time he retired and second in the major leagues to Ty
Cobb. He still ranks fourth all-time, behind Pete Rose, Cobb and
Hank Aaron (it was ironically past a second-base playing rookie Rose
that Musial's final hit would come).
Musial's career was perhaps most notable for its consistency. His
.331 career batting average ranks 30th; he batted .336 at home and
.326 on the road. He batted .340 in day games and .320 at night.
Remarkably, Stan Musial had exactly 1,815 career hits at home, and
1,815 hits on the road. When he retired Musial had the most career
home runs for a player who never won a single-season home run title.
In his September 1941 debut, Musial had two hits;after he got two
hits in his final game, 22 years later, a sportswriter jokingly
wrote, "He hasn't improved at all."
Stan Musial once said, "I consciously memorized the speed at
which every pitcher in the league threw his fastball, curve, and
slider; then, I'd pick up the speed of the ball in the firstthirty
feet of its flight and knew how it would move once it had crossed
Former Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Carl Erskine once described his
strategy of pitching to Musial: "I've had pretty good success with
Stan by throwing him my best pitch and backing up third.Erskine's
teammate, Preacher Roe, shared a similar sentiment. He summarized
his strategy of pitching to Musial as "I throw him four wide ones
and try to pick him off at first."Once Musial timed your fastball,"
observed Warren Spahn, "your infielders were in jeopardy." In
another story, Willie Mays, then playing for the New York Giants,
was receiving instruction from his manager Leo Durocher about how he
should prepare defensively in center field for each of the hitters
in the Cardinals' lineup. He described the weaknesses and tendencies
of the first two hitters, then moved on to the cleanup (fourth)
hitter. Mays interrupted to ask about the man in the third slot.
Durocher replied, "The third hitter is Stan Musial. There is no
advice I can give you about him."
It was fans of the Dodgers who gave him his nickname. After
several fine hitting performances at Ebbets Field, Brooklyn fans
would see him come to bat, and say, "Uh-oh, here comes thatman
again. That man is back!" St. Louis sportswriter Bob Broeg picked up
on this, and Musial was "Stan the Man" from that point on. Brooklyn
fans never booed him at Ebbets Field - out of respect.
Like many American baseball players of his era, Musial spent part
of his career serving in World War II, missing the 1945 season to
serve as a seaman first class in the United States Navy from January
1945 to March 1946.
Stan Musial (1958)Musial played in 24 All-Star games and the
Cardinals retired his uniform number '6' at the end of the 1963
season. He was a fan favorite for his reputation, both on the field
and off, as a gentleman.
Musial Career Stats
Musial Bowman 1949 Reprint Baseball Card
"I never realized that
batting a little ball around could cause so much commotion." - Stan
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