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Stan Musial Photo   Stan Musial
"There was never a day when I was as good as Joe DiMaggio at his best. Joe was the best, the very best I ever saw."

Full Name: Stanley Frank Musial
Nickname: Stan the Man
Physique: 6' 0", 127 lbs
Left-Handed Hitter
Born: Nov 21, 1920, Donora, PA
Age: 97 years old
Ranking: #19 All-time ( #18    All    #20 )
career average

3,630 hits

St. Louis Cardinals
1942 - 1963

Hall of Fame: 1969

As a boy, the left-handed Musial dreamed of becoming a major-league pitcher. He signed his first professional contract with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1938 and pitched in the minor leagues, occasionally playing in the outfield, until he injured his left arm late in the 1940 season.

Moved permanently to the outfield, he came up to the Cardinals late in the 1941 season and batted .426 in 12 games. The following year, he became the team's starting left fielder and hit .315. It was the first of 16 consecutive seasons in which he hit over .300.

Musial led the league in 1943 with a .357 average, 220 hits, 48 doubles, 20 triples, and a .562 slugging percentage to win the NL's most valuable player award. He was the league leader with 197 hits, 51 doubles, and a .549 slugging percentage in 1944, when he batted .347.

After serving in the Navy in 1945, Musial returned to the Cardinals to win another batting title with a .365 average. He also led with 124 runs, 228 hits, 50 doubles, 20 triples, and a .587 slugging percentage to win his second MVP award.

In 1948, Musial changed to an odd "peek-a-boo" batting stance, with his back almost to the pitcher and his bat held straight up. It increased his power without hurting his average. Musial's previous home run high was 19 in 1947; from 1948 through 1955, he hit 30 or more home runs six times.

Musial won four batting titles in the five years from 1948 through 1952, hitting .376 in 1948, .346 in 1950, .355 in 1951, and .338 in 1952. He led the league in runs scored with 135 in 1948, 124 in 1951, 105 in 1952, and 120 in 1954; in hits with 230 in 1948, 207 in 1949, and 194 in 1952; in doubles with 46 in 1948, 41 in 1949, 42 in 1952, 53 in 1953, and 41 in 1954; in triples with 18 in 1948, 13 in 1949, and 12 in 1951; in RBI with 131 in 1948 and 109 in 1956; in walks with 105 in 1953; and in slugging percentage with .702 in 1948, 596 in 1950, and .538 in 1952.

The league's MVP for a third time in 1948, Musial frequently played first base from that year on and in 1957 he became a full-time first baseman, though he moved back to the outfield in 1959. He won his seventh and last batting title with a .351 average in 1957. He retired after batting .255 in 1963.

Nicknamed "Stan the Man" by Brooklyn fans because he had career average of .356 in Ebbets Field, Musial was a modest, well-liked man who was honored in every NL park during his farewell season. Sportswriter Ed Linn once wrote, "It is difficult to write about Stan Musial without sounding as if you were delivering the nominating address at a presidential convention."

After retiring, he continued to run a very successful St. Louis restaurant which he'd opened during his playing days and he served as a vice-president of the Cardinals. In 3,026 games, Musial had an average of .331 with 3,630 hits, including 725 doubles, 177 triples, and 475 home runs. He drove in 1,951 runs and scored 1,949.

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