The St. Louis Cardinals history changed today in 1940. It’s all because of one player: Stan Musial, also known as “The Man.”
January 20, 2013; St. Louis, MO. USA; A general view of a makeshift memorial for Stan Musial next to his statue at Busch Stadium. Musial passed away on January 19, 2013. Image Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
This fun fact was shared this morning by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s Facebook page:
"Pitcher Stan Musial of the Daytona Beach Islanders lands on his left shoulder while making a shoestring catch in the outfield, ending his pitching career. Musial will become a full-time outfielder in 1941."
The Hall of Fame is always posting fun historical baseball facts.
Musial would become more than a full-time outfielder. Musial would start playing some first base for the Cardinals during the 1946 season but mostly he stayed in the outfield. He would finish his 22-season career in 1963 with 475 home runs, 3630 hits, 725 doubles, 1951 RBI, and a .331 career batting average. He won 3 NL MVP awards and 7 National League batting titles–the last of which came in 1957.
Musial’s 3630 hits rank 4th place of all time as of games played last night. Only Hank Aaron and Pete Rose passed up The Man in hits. When Musial retired in 1963, he was sitting comfortably in second place to Ty Cobb. The only active player that is remotely close is Derek Jeter with 3308 career hits.
Musial’s 6,134 total bases are second only to Hank Aaron. Let that sink in for a moment.
Who knows what kind of career Musial would have had he not been injured on that catch in 1940?