The St. Louis Cardinals just announced that the iconic Stan Musial has died at the age of 92.
The news of Musial’s death comes on the same day that the baseball world lost fellow Hall of Famer Earl Weaver.
Commissioner Ford Frick once said of the former ballplayer: “Here stands baseball’s perfect warrior. Here stands baseball’s perfect knight.”
Those are the same words inscribed on the statue that welcomes fans to Busch Stadium in St. Louis. They are how Cardinals fans will remember the late Cardinal. With Albert Pujols leaving St. Louis to go to Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim last season, it is Musial that will forever be remembered as the greatest Cardinal of all-time.
Born on November 21, 1920 in Donora, Pennsylvania, he was signed as an amateur free agent in 1938 and would make his Cardinals debut on September 17, 1941.
The Man played for the Cardinals from 1941 until retiring in 1963. He missed the 1945 season as he was serving in the United States Navy. In 22 seasons, Musial appeared in 24 All-Star games. He was a 3-time World Series champion (1942, 1944, 1946). Musial was named as the National League MVP three times, winning in 1943, 1946, and 1948. He led the National League in batting average in 7 different seasons (1943, 1946, 1948, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1957).
Following his retirement from baseball, Musial was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1969 with 93.2% of the vote. His name appeared on 317 of 340 ballots.
In 1999, Musial was named to Major League Baseball’s All-Century Team. Nearly 2 years ago on February 15, 2011, Musial was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama after a successful “Stand for Stan” campaign.
Musial still holds many franchise records.
Bob Costas once said of Musial: “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.”