THE BEST TO EVER PLAY THE GAME
May 12, 2014INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
Stanley Frank Musial
Born: November 21, 1920, Donora, Pennsylvania
Died: January 19, 2013, Ladue, Missouri
Played For: St. Louis Cardinals (1941-1944, 1946-1963)
Elected to the Hall of Fame by Baseball Writers: 1969
Today we continue to look at the best to ever play the game with a look at Stan Musial, considered one of “least” talked about among the greatest to play baseball.
When baseball fans talk about the best to ever play the game, Stan “The Man” Musial’s name doesn’t come up like Hank Aaron, Willie Mays or Lou Gehrig, but it should. Musial wasn’t just one of the best hitters of his generation, but of all time and his numbers prove it.
Musial had a “peek-a-boo” batting stance: a crouch with his head angled in such a way he looked like he was peeking at each pitch. Most people don’t know this but Musial began his career as a pitcher but an injury in the minors forced him to change to the outfield.
Musial hit over .300 in 18 of his 22 Major League seasons-all with the St. Louis Cardinals. He won seven NL batting titles and was the league’s MVP three times (1943, 46, 48). He finished second four times. Musial led the Cardinals to the NL Pennant in 1942, 43, 44 and 46. In 1945, Musial didn’t play because he was in the Military.
The 1948 season was one of the greatest seasons in Major League history. Musial led the NL in hitting (.376), RBI (131), runs scored (135), doubles (46), triples (18), hits (230), total bases (429) and slugging percentage (.702). He also hit 39 HR’s leaving him one short of the triple crown.
Musial won seven batting titles with his last coming in 1957-at the age of 37-when he hit .351. At the age of 42, Musial hit .330. His lifetime batting average was .331 with 475 career homeruns, 3,630 hits. At the time of his retirement, Musial held 29 NL records and 17 major league records. One of his little known records is playing more than 1,000 at games at two positions, outfield and first base.