Skip to comments.Cardinals mourn loss of Stan Musial
Posted on 01/19/2013 5:10:34 PM PST by Borges
The entire St. Louis Cardinals family is deeply saddened by the passing of Cardinals Hall of Famer Stan Musial at the age of 92. Musial, who played his entire 22-year major league career (1941-63) for the Cardinals, died this evening at his home in Ladue surrounded by his family.
We have lost the most beloved member of the Cardinals family, said William DeWitt Jr., Chairman of the St. Louis Cardinals. Stan Musial was the greatest player in Cardinals history and one of the best players in the history of baseball. The entire Cardinals organization extends its sincere condolences to Stans family, including his children Richard, Gerry, Janet and Jean, as well as his eleven grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren, DeWitt said. We join fans everywhere in mourning the loss of our dear friend and reflect on how fortunate we all are to have known Stan the Man.
Musial was the first player in Cardinals history to have his uniform number retired, and he was a first-ballot Hall of Fame selection in 1969, being named on 93 percent of the ballots. At his retirement ceremony at the end of the 1963 season, Musial was referred to as baseballs perfect warrior, baseballs perfect knight by Commissioner Ford C. Frick. Fricks words are inscribed at the base of a bronze statue of Musial that stands outside Busch Stadium. The now iconic statute, which sits on Musial Plaza along Stan Musial Drive, serves as a popular, almost hallowed, gathering spot for generations of Cardinals fans.
A three-time National League MVP (1943, 1946 and 1948) and winner of seven NL batting titles, Musial played in 24 All-Star Games (from 1959-62, Major League Baseball held two All-Star Games each season) and finished his career with a .331 batting average. At the time of his retirement, Musial stood as the National Leagues all-time career record holder in games (3,026), runs scored (1,949), hits (3,630), doubles (725) and runs batted in (1,951) among other records, and he was still ranked among the top 10 in those categories in 2012.
Musial, who was born in Donora, Pennsylvania, signed with the Cardinals in 1938 and made his major league debut with the team in 1941. Musial was a member of the Cardinals teams that won the World Series in 1942, 1944 and 1946. He missed the entire 1945 season to serve in the United States Navy during World War II.
Musial was named a Cardinals vice president at the end of his playing career in 1963 and he served in that capacity for more than 25 years. In 1967, Stan served as the general manager of the Cardinals team that defeated the Boston Red Sox to win the World Series.
A resident of St. Louis from the beginning of his major league career until his death, Musial was actively engaged in business, civic and charitable work in the St. Louis community. He was co-owner of the popular Stan Musial and Biggies Restaurant in St. Louis for more than two decades and he was active with numerous charities including the USO, Senior Olympics, the Boy Scouts, the Crippled Society of St. Louis, Covenant House and Cardinals Care. Stan was a true civic treasure, who did so much for our community, Dewitt said.
In 2012, the St. Louis Sports Commission announced that National Sportsmanship Awards will be renamed The Musial Awards in recognition of his status as an exemplary role model for athletes. During Musials entire major league playing career he was never ejected from a game by an umpire a mark of both extraordinary self-discipline and sportsmanship. Musial served as chair of the Presidents Council on Physical Fitness and Sports for President Lyndon B. Johnson from 1964-67 and he served as unofficial emissary to Poland and was awarded the Cavalier Cross of the Order of Merit, the Polish governments highest civilian honor.
In 2010 Musial was named a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, receiving the medal from President Barack Obama at a White House ceremony in 2011. Considered the highest civilian honor bestowed by the U.S. government, the Medal of Freedom recognizes individuals who have made an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors. Awarding the Medal to Musial at the 2011 ceremony, President Obama said, Stan remains to this day an icon untarnished, a beloved pillar of the community, a gentleman youd want your kids to emulate.
Musials wife of 71 years, the former Lillian Lil Labash, passed away in May 2012. Funeral arrangements have not yet been finalized. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Covenant House or charity of the fans choice in the name of Stan Musial. The Cardinals have set up a memorial site around the Musial Statute at Gate 3 at Busch Stadium, which will remain in place until a date yet determined. The team has also set up a web page (cardinals.com/stan) to pay tribute to Stan and allow fans to offer condolences to the family.
Stan the Man. RIP
Earl Weaver, 82, Stan Musial, 92, ... RIP.
I was a Yankees fan back when I was a kid, but I greatly admired Stan Musial.
May he rest in peace.
He and Mickey Mantle were my childhood introductions to the love of the game.
A truly pleasant guy. My father in law and I each met him at separate times, and he was super sweet.
I also heard today that Earl Weaver, another baseball legend from that era had passed away.
Musial is part of one of the happiest of my many happy memories of my Dad.
Total CLASS is leaving us in droves! RIP Stan the Man!
I hope that the 7% of writers who didn't vote for him are very proud.
Probably Cub’s fans.
My idol when I played in Little League. He always had time for the kids. One nice guy.....sigh. We are poorer for your passing, Stan.
Stan, a great throng awaits you....my daddy among them. He will be glad to shake your hand and welcome you.
One of the true greats. Just a wonderful man.
That is for sure. If Stan wasn’t the most respected player, by both his opponents and teammates, in Major League Baseball during roughly the 1940-1960 era I don’t know who was. Maybe Reese, but otherwise I can’t think off the top of my head anybody else to put up there with The Man.
Stan the Man and Jack Buck were two great people I grew up with.
No one has ever been elected to the HoF unanimously. There are likely voters who refuse to vote for clear cases like Musual, just to keep it that way.
A big part of my childhood is not now gone. My only cherished baseball memorabilia is a Stan autographed ball that I got at old Busch I in 1959.
One of the greats from back in the days before the sport was overrun with primadonnas.
Rest in peace, Mr. Musial.
'48 was a great year 'cause it was an election year and all summer long I went to free ballgames courtesy of the Dems one week and the Pubbies the next.I got to see Stan the Man many times in those years.
In 1969 I was at a ball game at the Padres Jack Murphy Stadium while serving aboard USS Constellation,when I got into an elevator as I was leaving the game and I looked at the guy standing next to me and my jaw dropped when I recognized Stan the Man!!
Stan looked at me gaping like a star struck kid and said ,"What!". I croaked out "Hi Stan." He said "Hi." We got off the elevator.
That's it...but it was a big deal to me...c'mon it was Stan the Man!!
Both with Mound City connections (Weaver was born there).
Yes, RIP to both from a Phillies phanatic.
This was a great man. It is so sad how sports has devolved with felons and thugs. RIP, Stan the Man.
Sorry to hear about Musial's passing, but what is the connection between Stan the Man and Earl Weaver? One was a good guy, the other ... well, not quite.
Don't think I ever saw The Man play in person, but I did see him play many times on TV. Weird batting stance, but the guy could hit.
Didn't realize that Musial was never ejected for arguing with an umpire. That's quite a record, considering how many games he played.
My dad too. Stan the Man was just below Jesus in our house.
Stan was soft-spoken; Earl was out-spoken.
They usually pass in 3s; waiting for the 3rd set of cleats to drop.
The rookie kept shaking off every call Garagiola made. Curve, slider, fast ball....the rookie wasn't willing to throw.
Garagiola calls time and goes out to the mound...."What's up with this? You gotta pitch something to this guy." The rookie said, "That's Musial, I just want to hold on to the ball."
Garagiola goes back behind the plate and the rookie throws.....
Musial promptly hit it out of the park.
I went to Stan & Biggie's in about 1965. Went to the john and, when I came out, saw Stan and a young boy sitting on the second step of the staircase leading up out of the lobby.
I stood in the shadows and watched as Stan talked to the young boy -- who was giving his rapt attention. He signed a copy of the menu for the boy and shook his hand in a formal, respectful fashion. The boy marched back to the dining room, clutching his menu with a huge grin on his face. An encounter that he doubtless remembers to this day.
Stan stood up and watched him go, smiling and getting an equal charge out of the encounter.
Only then did I approach The Man. And, ever since, I've said "Shake the hand that shook the hand of Stanley Frank Musial". Truly, he was an American Hero and a gentleman for the ages.
Warren Spahn pitching to Stan Musial.
RIP, Stan the Man.
Is this one when Musial hit a liner right back at Spahn and hit him in the gut knocking him down?
Spahn got up, got the ball and threw Musial out at first.
One of the first baseball cards I ever got as a baseball crazy 10 year old. Along with Nellie Fox, Sherm Lollar, Ted Kluzewski, Eddie Matthews, etc. Those guys were magic to me.
Spahn and Musial were the ultimate competitors who had respect for each other. Here’s a quote from Musial:
“I don’t think (Warren) Spahn will ever get into the Hall of Fame. He’ll never stop pitching.”
1950s baseball was incredible. I watched Spahn pitch when I was a little kid against players like Mantle, Dusty Rhodes, Musial and Ted Williams.
It was a great time to be a baseball fan.
As for your recollection with Musial hitting Spahn in the gut, why not? I love the story.
No connection, other than they are both legitimately Hall of Famers and among the most memorable people to play (or manage) the game.
One was a gentleman, the other an agitator. Both were masters of the art of winning.
One of the greats.
One of the greats.
Dad was a Shriner in St. Louis. At one of their events, I (kids) walked up on stage and was handed a signed baseball by Stan the Man. (early 60’s). I hope I can find it again.
While never having et at Musial & Biggies, I was participating in the Moonlight Ramble in 1973, 10,000 bicycle riders touring the town at night. It wasn’t an official race, but I remember experiencing the second wind (for the first time) in front of the restaurant. I got back to Steiners Fountain and asked where everyone was, they said I came in second. (on my Schwinn Sports Tourer, with panniers loaded with camp gear) I could of been a contenda /Lance
Yes, baseball was much better for the average fan in the 1950s. Two leagues, eight teams in each, and nowhere near the number of players moving from one team to another or from one league to another as you have today. Much easier for the fan to know all about the players because there were much fewer of them and they generally stayed with their teams for longer periods of time. Also, fans could identify more readily with the players in general because they were 90+% Americans and more accessable to the general public.
Stan Musial was the epitome of that: 23 years with the same team!
But Warren Spahn never pitched to Ted Williams in any game that counted because Spahn was in the National League and Williams in the American. He did face Mantle, but only in two World Series.
“This was a great man. It is so sad how sports has devolved with felons and thugs.”
Agreed. RIP, Stan the Man.
I read many baseball biographies when I was a kid. Spahn was a demolition Sgt in WW II. He stepped off a bridge just before it collapsed and killed many comrades. He literally came within seconds or minutes of us never knowing who he was.
Or this one, (and I do not recall who the other Cards player it was), Stan and and another player sitting on the bench just before going out and the other player says: “Stan I feel great, great night’s sleep last night, great breakfast at the hotel, great bus ride over her to the park and well damn I feel so great I feel like I’m gonna get three hits out there today....you ever feel that way Stan?” Stan....”Yeah, Every day”!
I was thinking the same thing, but Spahn might have pitched to Williams in an All Star Game.
I'd say since they were both frequent All Stars and their careers overlapped for many years, there is a very good chance that it happened. But I'm sure that they met up in a number of exhibition games. Remember that both played in the same city - Boston - for a number of years until Spahn and the Braves moved to Milwaukee.
Williams was in Korea, serving as John Glenns wingman during the 1952 All-Star Game, but returned from war in time to throw out the first ball at the midsummer festival in 53. Three years later, he hit his fourth and final All-Star homer, a shot off Warren Spahn in a 7-3 AL loss at Griffith Stadium in Washington. Williams was one of four players who homered in the game, a lofty group that included Willie Mays, Stan Musial, and Mantle.
May he rest in peace. One of the greatest ever to play the game, and a gentleman both on and off the field.