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THE BEST TO EVER PLAY THE GAME

May 12, 2014
INDIANA SPORTS PAGE



BASEBALL’S BEST

Stanley Frank Musial

Born: November 21, 1920, Donora, Pennsylvania

 

Died: January 19, 2013, Ladue, Missouri

 

Bats: Left
Throws: Left

 

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.

Stan Musial Hitting Stats

G AB R H 2B 3B HR GRSL RBI BB IBB SO SH SF HBP GIDP AVG OBP SLG
1941 21 Cardinals 12 47 8 20 4 0 1 0 7 2 - 1 0 - 0 0 .426 .449 .574
1942 22 Cardinals 140 467 87 147 32 10 10 1 72 62 - 25 5 - 2 3 .315 .397 .490
1943 23 Cardinals 157 617 108 220 48 20 13 0 81 72 - 18 10 - 2 17 .357 .425 .562
1944 24 Cardinals 146 568 112 197 51 14 12 0 94 90 - 28 4 - 5 7 .347 .440 .549
1946 26 Cardinals 156 624 124 228 50 20 16 0 103 73 - 31 2 - 3 7 .365 .434 .587
1947 27 Cardinals 149 587 113 183 30 13 19 1 95 80 - 24 6 - 4 18 .312 .398 .504
1948 28 Cardinals 155 611 135 230 46 18 39 1 131 79 - 34 1 - 3 18 .376 .450 .702
1949 29 Cardinals 157 612 128 207 41 13 36 0 123 107 - 38 0 - 2 12 .338 .438 .624
1950 30 Cardinals 146 555 105 192 41 7 28 0 109 87 - 36 0 - 3 11 .346 .437 .596
1951 31 Cardinals 152 578 124 205 30 12 32 0 108 98 - 40 1 - 1 6 .355 .449 .614
1952 32 Cardinals 154 578 105 194 42 6 21 0 91 96 - 29 0 - 2 11 .336 .432 .538
1953 33 Cardinals 157 593 127 200 53 9 30 0 113 105 - 32 0 - 0 10 .337 .437 .609
1954 34 Cardinals 153 591 120 195 41 9 35 1 126 103 - 39 0 7 4 20 .330 .428 .607
1955 35 Cardinals 154 562 97 179 30 5 33 1 108 80 19 39 2 4 8 12 .319 .408 .566
1956 36 Cardinals 156 594 87 184 33 6 27 2 109 75 15 39 3 7 3 19 .310 .386 .522
1957 37 Cardinals 134 502 82 176 38 3 29 1 102 66 19 34 1 8 2 13 .351 .422 .612
1958 38 Cardinals 135 472 64 159 35 2 17 0 62 72 26 26 0 4 1 19 .337 .423 .528
1959 39 Cardinals 115 341 37 87 13 2 14 0 44 60 11 25 0 3 0 12 .255 .364 .428
1960 40 Cardinals 116 331 49 91 17 1 17 0 63 41 7 34 0 4 2 5 .275 .354 .486
1961 41 Cardinals 123 372 46 107 22 4 15 1 70 52 17 35 0 6 1 7 .288 .371 .489
1962 42 Cardinals 135 433 57 143 18 1 19 0 82 64 4 46 0 5 3 13 .330 .416 .508
1963 43 Cardinals 124 337 34 86 10 2 12 0 58 35 9 43 0 5 2 3 .255 .325 .404
G AB R H 2B 3B HR GRSL RBI BB IBB SO SH SF HBP GIDP AVG OBP SLG
22 Years 3,026 10,972 1,949 3,630 725 177 475 9 1,951 1,599 127 696 35 53 53 243 .331 .417 .559



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