Issue 8- February 8, 2013
On Jan. 19, the sports world said goodbye to a legend. “Stan the Man” Musial was one of the greatest players in baseball history. Born in their great–grandparents time, most students have no idea who this man was. Here is his standout career in a nutshell.
The left–handed outfielder and first baseman sported the number six jersey for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1941–1963. During his 22–year career, Musial won three World Series as well as three MVP awards. When he retired, he held the National League record for hits (3,630) and was second in home runs (475). He batted .331 and earned 17 major league records. He played in 24 All-Star games (baseball held two All-Star games for several summers) and was a record setter in nine of those games.
Musial was a great athlete. He will forever live in the history books. But he was an even greater man. Teammates respected him for the person he was on —and off— the field. Of his 3,026 regular-season games, Musial was ejected zero times. He stood up for the African American players in a time of tense integration and discrimination. He was married for almost 72 years until his wife, Lillian, passed away last year.
“It seems that all Stan had going for him was more than two decades of sustained excellence as a ballplayer and more than nine decades as a thoroughly decent human being,” sportscaster Bob Costas said. “Where is the single person to truthfully say a bad word about him?”
Musial hung up his jersey in September of 1963. Corky Withrow replaced Musial as left–fielder in the fifth inning of his last game at Wrigley Field.
“Stan Musial was the class of all baseball players,” Withrow said. “He was a personal fellow that signed autographs for kids and always had time for his fans.”
A former Cardinals first baseman himself, Albert Pujols personally felt the loss of Musial and tweeted his respect.
“I will cherish my friendship with Stan for as long as I live. Rest in Peace,” Pujols said.
To all who watched the slugger play, he was an MVP. But even more than that, he was a friend. He was the man every boy wanted to become. He was the husband for which every girl was looking. He was the player every athlete aspired to be. He was the hero every human being could admire. He will be truly missed. His legend must continue.