Sunday, July 3, 2011

#150 Stan Musial




"I throw him four wide ones and then I try to pick him off first base." - Preacher Roe

"How good was Stan Musial?  He was good enough to take your breath away." - Vin Scully

After 22 years as a Cardinal, Stan Musial ranked at or near the top of baseball's all-time lists in almost every batting category. The dead-armed Class C pitcher was transformed into a slugging outfielder who topped the .300 mark 17 times and won seven National League batting titles with his famed corkscrew stance and ringing line drives. A three-time MVP, he played in 24 All-Star games. He was nicknamed The Man by Dodgers fans for the havoc he wrought at Ebbets Field and was but one home run shy of capturing the National League Triple Crown in 1948.
Yup, three MVPs, seven batting titles, 24 All Star games. I'm no new age stats guy but even I can follow this from Baseball Reference:
He ranks fifth all-time among hitters on the Black Ink Test, and third all-time on the Gray Ink Test—measures designed to compare players of different eras. He ranks first on Baseball-Reference's Hall of Fame Monitor Test, and is tied for second in the Hall of Fame Career Standards Test.
And finally, consider this list of accomplishments, also from Baseball Reference:
Notable Achievements
  • 20-time NL All-Star (1943, 1944 & 1946-1963)
  • 3-time NL MVP (1943, 1946 & 1948)
  • 7-time NL Batting Average Leader (1943, 1946, 1948, 1950-1952 & 1957)
  • 6-time NL On-Base Percentage Leader (1943, 1944, 1948, 1949, 1953 & 1957)
  • 6-time NL Slugging Percentage Leader (1943, 1944, 1946, 1948, 1950 & 1952)
  • 7-time NL OPS Leader (1943, 1944, 1946, 1948, 1950, 1952 & 1957)
  • NL At Bats Leader (1946)
  • 5-time NL Runs Scored Leader (1946, 1948, 1951, 1952 & 1954)
  • 6-time NL Hits Leader (1943, 1944, 1946, 1948, 1949 & 1952)
  • 6-time NL Total Bases Leader (1943, 1946, 1948, 1949, 1951 & 1952)
  • NL Singles Leader (1946)
  • 8-time NL Doubles Leader (1943, 1944, 1946, 1948, 1949 & 1952-1954)
  • 5-time NL Triples Leader (1943, 1946, 1948, 1949 & 1951)
  • 2-time NL RBI Leader (1948 & 1956)
  • NL Bases on Balls Leader (1953)
  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 10 (1948-1957)
  • 30-Home Run Seasons: 6 (1948, 1949, 1951 & 1953-1955)
  • 100 RBI Seasons: 10 (1946, 1948-1951 & 1953-1957)
  • 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 11 (1943, 1944 & 1946-1954)
  • 200 Hits Seasons: 6 (1943, 1946, 1948, 1949, 1951 & 1953)
  • Won three World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals (1942, 1944 & 1946)
  • Baseball Hall of Fame: Class of 1969
The Baseball Page has the best Musial bio I came across on the web, a nice read for sure. Stan Musial was elected to the Hall on the first ballot with 93% of the vote. Whoever is represented by that other 7% should have had their voting privileges revolked immediately. I'd guess that no other baseball player is more revered in any city than Musial is in St. Louis. There is a new George Vecsey biography of Musial out this summer which I have not read yet but has gotten good reviews. He was recently honored at the White House and has a pretty nice website.

Great card of Stan Musial in this '59 set, doing what he did best, swinging the bat. I like the blue and red cap. The Cards had last worn that in 1955 so this picture was several years old when Topps used it. My copy is off center obviously, but has fairly nice corners and nice color. I was very happy to get it for the price I did.

1 comment:

  1. I had a Stan the Man card and stuck it under a chair at somebody's house. It was taken away from me in a case of pure thievery

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