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Stan Musial

By

Stan Musial photo
Hulton Archive
Updated June 30, 2012

Vital Statistics:

Born: Nov. 21, 1920

Hometown: Donora, Pa.

Height: 6-0

Weight: 175 pounds

Batted: Left

Threw: Left

Family: Wife, Lillian (married for 72 years before she died in 2012); son Richard; daughters Gerry, Janet and Jeanie

Primary position: First baseman (played more games in outfield, but split between left field, right field and center field)

Before The Bigs:

  • Was high school teammate with Buddy Griffey, the father of Ken Griffey and grandfather of Ken Griffey Jr.
  • Also was an accomplished basketball player, and was offered a scholarship by the University of Pittsburgh.
  • Signed by the St. Louis Cardinals as a pitcher in 1937.
  • Was 9-2 with a 4.30 ERA in 13 games in 1939 at age 18 with Williamson (W.Va.), and was 18-5 witha 2.62 ERA in 1940 with Class D Daytona Beach. Playing outfield as well, he batted .352 in Williamson and .311 with Daytona Beach.
  • Made a diving catch in the 1940 season in Daytona Beach and injured his left shoulder, ending his pitching career.
  • Batted .379 with 26 home runs at age 20 with Class C Springfield and then .326 with three homers in Double-A Rochester before earning a call-up to the Cardinals in 1941.

Career Highlights:

  • Considered as the greatest St. Louis Cardinals player of all-time.
  • A 24-time All-Star, he had 3,630 hits (fourth all-time), with 1,815 hits at home and 1,815 hits on the road.
  • Had a lifetime batting average of .331 with 475 home runs and 1,951 RBI, which ranks sixth all-time. His career OPS of .976 is 13th all-time.
  • Won the National League batting title seven times, winning at age 22 and at age 37.
  • Hit .426 in 12 games with the Cardinals in 1941, and hit the first home run of his career off Rip Sewell on Sept. 23, 1941.
  • Qualified for exemptions and didn't go to war until 1945. In the meantime, the Cardinals won the World Series in 1942 and he won his first batting title in 1943 and was named NL MVP, hitting .357 with a .988 OPS. He was selected to his first All-Star Game and led the NL in hits, doubles, triples and on-base percentage.
  • Hit .347 in 1944 as the Cardinals won the NL pennant and beat the Browns in an all-St. Louis World Series.
  • Spent a year in the Navy and played baseball in a league on base at Pearl Harbor.
  • Returned to the majors in 1946, and earned the nickname "Stan the Man" from a st. Louis sportswriter.
  • Won his second MVP in 1946, leading the NL with a .365 average. Won his third World Series, getting six hits in a seven-game win over the Boston Red Sox.
  • Finished one home run short of winning the Triple Crown in 1948, when he had his finest season statistically, batting .376 with 39 home runs and 131 RBI. Was selected NL MVP for the third time. Collected his 1,000th hit that season and hit a home run in the 1948 All-Star Game.
  • Never won the MVP again, but finished second four times and in the top 10 five other times from 1949-57.
  • Never led the NL in home runs in a season despite hitting 475 in his career.
  • Among the most consistent hitters ever, he batted better than .310 in every season from 1942 to 1958.
  • Hit five home runs in a doubleheader on May 2, 1954 against the New York Giants.
  • Was the oldest player to hit three homers in one game at age 41 in 1961.
  • Hit a home run to win the 1955 All-Star game in the 12th inning.
  • Played in 895 consecutive games from 1951 to 1957, when he injured his shoulder.
  • Collected his 3,000th hit in 1958 with a pinch-hit double against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.
  • Established National League records for hits, RBI and runs scored at the time of his retirement after the 1963 season. He was the major-league leader in extra-base hits and total bases.

After Retirement:

  • Named a vice president of the Cardinals after his retirment and was the team's general manager in 1967. The Cardinals won the World Series that season.
  • Stepped down after the season to devote more time to his business interests.
  • Selected to the Hall of Fame in 1969, his first season of eligibility, on 93.2 percent of ballots.
  • One of 30 players selected to the MLB All-Century Team.
  • Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011.
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