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Stan Musial of the St.Louis Cardinals 1949 Bowman Reprint Baseball Card

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 1972).

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 the plate."

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.

Stan Musial Career Stats

Stan Musial Bowman 1949 Reprint Baseball Card

1949 Bowman Stan Musial Reprint Card

"I never realized that batting a little ball around could cause so much commotion." - Stan Musial

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