He was simply “The Man.” Stanley Frank Musial made a name for himself as one of baseball’s best hitters of all time on the field, as well as one of its greatest, most dignified ambassadors off it. And now “Stan the Man” is gone.
‘Stellar slugging outfielder’
Musial died at his Ladue, Missouri, home surrounded by family, the Cardinals said in a statement. According to a post on his Twitter page, which is maintained by his grandson Brian Musial Schwarze, Musial died at 5:45 p.m. (6:45 p.m. ET) Saturday of natural causes. He was 92.
The Pennsylvania-born Musial transitioned from a lackluster pitcher to a stellar slugging outfielder, according to his biography on the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s website. The left-hander had a batting average above .300 17 times during his 22-year career — all played with St. Louis — and earned three National League Most Valuable Player awards as well as three World Series titles. The only blip came in 1945, in the thick of World War II, when he left baseball to join the U.S. Navy.
‘Baseball’s perfect warrior’
After the 1963 season, Musial retired with a .331 career batting average and as the National League’s career leader in RBI, games played, runs scored, hits and doubles. He has since been surpassed in some of those categories, but he still ranks fourth in baseball history in total hits, behind only Pete Rose, Ty Cobb and Hank Aaron. He also stood out for his grace and sportsmanship — having never been ejected once by an umpire. In his retirement ceremony, then-Major League Commissioner Ford Frick referred to Musial as “baseball’s perfect warrior, baseball’s perfect knight.”
Lillian, Musial’s wife of 71 years, died last May — a longlasting marriage that some people, online, called as admirable as anything that happened on the diamond.
Are you a fan of the late Stan “The Man” Musial? Do you agree that he was indeed “baseball’s perfect knight”?
Source: Greg Botelho, CNN
Image: Bleacher Report