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Remembering two legends: Stan Musial and Earl Weaver

By January 19, 2013

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Two Hall of Famers have passed away on consecutive days. And these were no-doubt legends of the game who are icons in their home cities.

On Friday, former Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver died on a cruise ship at age 82. He was on a baseball-themed cruise in the Caribbean.

"Earl Weaver stands alone as the greatest manager in the history of the Orioles organization and one of the greatest in the history of baseball," Orioles owner Peter Angelos said in a statement.

How great? His .583 winning percentage is the greatest of any manager in the last 52 years, of any manager who was in charge a minimum of six seasons. His teams won four pennants and six division titles in 17 seasons that spanned the Brooks Robinson years and the beginning of the Cal Ripken era in Baltimore. Weaver made the Hall of Fame in 1996.

Weaver was born and raised in St. Louis, which today is mourning its favorite player of all-time.

Stan "The Man" Musial passed away at age 92 on Saturday. He had been in declining health in the past few years and had Alzheimer's disease.

"We have lost the most beloved member of the Cardinals family. Stan Musial was the greatest player in Cardinals history and one of the best players in the history of baseball," said William DeWitt Jr., chairman of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Musial played in 3,026 games with the Cardinals and holds just about every offensive record in team history, including 3,630 hits (a mind-boggling 1,815 at home and 1,815 on the road). He won seven batting titles, hit .331 lifetime and was a three-time MVP and three-time World Series champion -- no other player who wasn't a New York Yankee can say that. Musial was a 24-time All-Star and had more hits in the 1940s and 1950s than anybody. He had 475 home runs and just 696 strikeouts in his career, a ratio that will likely never be duplicated.

In retirement, he was St. Louis' general manager for one year -- and the Cardinals won the World Series. And he was one of the greatest ambassadors for baseball all-time, too.

"I never heard anybody say a bad word about him, ever," said Hall of Famer Willie Mays.

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