On January 19, 2013, the face of the St. Louis Cardinals, Stan “The Man” Musial, passed away at age 92.
Stan Musial, widely regarded as one of the greatest hitters in baseball history, played his entire 22 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals. During his career, he was a 24-time All-Star, 3-time NL MVP, 7-time NL Batting Champion, and 3-time World Series Champion. In Major League Baseball history, Musial’s 3,630 hits ranks 4th all-time, 1,949 runs ranks 9th all-time, and 1,951 RBIs ranks 6th all-time.
In 1945, Musial would leave baseball for a season to serve in the United States Navy during WWII. Gary Suess of Bleacher Report ranked Musial #5 in the top 15 of Hall of Fame players that served in the U.S. Armed Forces. He would join other baseball greats that served their country in the military – Willie Mays, Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, and Ty Cobb.
Stan Musial was a first ballot Hall-of-Famer, elected in 1969 with 93.2% of votes
On February 15, 2011, President Barack Obama honored Stan Musial with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor for a civilian. The President described Musial as “an icon untarnished, a beloved pillar of the community, a gentleman you’d want your kids to emulate.”
Stan the Man is a baseball legend that will truly be missed, but his spirit will continue to live on in the history of baseball.
“He didn’t hit a homer in his last at-bat; he hit a single. He didn’t hit in 56 straight games. He married his high school sweetheart and stayed married to her, never married a Marilyn Monroe. He didn’t play with the sheer joy and style that goes alongside Willie Mays’ name. None of those easy things are there to associate with Stan Musial. All Musial represents is more than two decades of sustained excellence and complete decency as a human being.” – Sportscaster Bob Costas in ESPN SportsCentury (ESPN)
Stan Musial loved to play the harmonica, let’s here him one more time. Share your Stan the Man memories in the comments below.