The Day the Legends Died

Stan the Man, RIP.

Stan Musial, one of baseball’s greatest hitters and a Hall of Famer with the St. Louis Cardinals for more than two decades, died Saturday. He was 92.

Stan the Man won seven National League batting titles, was a three-time MVP and helped the Cardinals capture three World Series championships in the 1940s.

The Cardinals announced Musial’s death in a news release. They said he died Saturday evening at his home in Ladue surrounded by family. The team said Musial’s son-in-law, Dave Edmonds, informed the club of Musial’s death.

12th career in WAR, but had only one season with WAR over 10. Crazy combination of consistency and longevity. Salary peaked at $75000 from 1951-53, ~$620000 in inflation adjusted terms.

Has another single day seen the death of two baseball legends of this magnitude?

45 comments on this post.
  1. JMG:

    In case people here didn’t know, maybe also the last sports superstar to be an active Democrat.
    Said: “All my life what I got was from people helping me. You either get it or you don’t.”

  2. John:

    A lot of NBA stars have been big Obama supporters – Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson both gave him a lot of money, as did many other prominent black athletes.

  3. Bill Murray:

    Salary peaked at $75000 from 1951-53, ~$620000 in inflation adjusted terms.

    not according to your baseball reference link. There the peak is $100,000 in 1958 and 1959. Which is equivalent to ~$800,000 today

  4. efgoldman:

    Living in an AL city (Boston) I only saw him once, in the second ’61 All Star game, at Fenway. I have no memory of what he did, and a vague memory that he got a very nice ovation during the introductions. That was the only pre-Selig tie in All Star history.

  5. JMG:

    It was Michael Jordan who said, and I think he was right in a way to say it, when he was asked why he turned down an offer to run against Jesse Helms, “Republicans buy shoes, too.” A different deal than Musial. Stan was just a citizen volunteer like many posters here.

  6. Decrease Mather:

    Jordan hosted a fundraiser for Obama.

    I’m not sure how JMG defines “active,” but if public endorsements and donations counts, his comment is absurd. There are plenty of athletes ho have supported Dems.

  7. sleepyirv:

    Baseball’s Perfect Knight

    There’s really nothing else to say.

  8. dp:

    Damn. Stan the Man was before my time, but I was always an admirer. Earl Weaver was the bomb. RIP to both.

  9. Aaron S. Veenstra:

    Depends how you define superstar, I guess, but Charles Woodson is fairly active, and was visible during the Wisconsin labor protests as well.

  10. Timb:

    Jordan’s comments were during his paying days. As a corporate shill/player now, I’m sure he knows he needs to appear to support Obama

  11. Incontinentia Buttocks:

    Bobby Orr used to do events for the Dukakis campaign in ’88 (I know…I put together briefing books for him). Then again, Orr’s a Canadian.

  12. john:

    I heard Rosey Grier tell a story that I hope is true. Musial, Rosey Grier and others were campaigning with JFK in Denver and saw a pickup with Kansas plates drive up with two farmers inside. That was a good sign for JFK, being an 800 mile round-trip for midwest farmers to attend the rally. The farmers got out of the truck, walked up to Musial, shook his hand, turned around, and drove away.

  13. efgoldman:

    Then again, Orr’s a Canadian.

    Is he still a Canadian citizen?

  14. Decrease Mather:

    I suspect he really does support Obama. Nothing about “appears.”

  15. Decrease Mather:

    Yes.

    Wayne Rooney came out for Obama, although he’s not a US citizen either. But it’s nice to see Obama getting the scouser vote.

  16. efgoldman:

    Hosers

  17. Michael Confoy:

    I suspect that JMG was joking.

  18. James E. Powell:

    12th career in WAR, but had only one season with WAR over 10.

    You make it sound like he fell short in some way. He’s 9th in career WAR among position players. And one season with a WAR over 10 is one more than DiMaggio.

  19. Funkula`:

    Nickname sharing is not a great idea. I was heartbroken for a moment as I thought it was referring to Stan Lee. Of course, Musial had it first, so I guess it serves Lee right.

  20. c u n d gulag:

    One of the greatest examples of “The Man’s” consistency, and a stastical anamaly in its own right, is that he got the same number of hits at home, as on the road – 1,815 each.

    3,630 hits, and he missed a year of his young prime due to WWII.

    My first baseball memory is of Mantle sending up a moon shot off of Barney Schult in the ’64 WS – the year AFTER Musial retired. And in those years, the memory of Musial’s playing career was still fresh in a lot of peoples minds, and I can’t tell you how many people used to say to me, when we were talking about the hitters after him, “Yeah, _____________________ (fill-in the blank) is great. But as a hitter, he ain’t no Musial.”

    And you know, they were right.
    Who was?
    Very, very few were then.
    And very, very few since.

    One of the All-time greats!

    R.I.P. Stan “Da Man” Musial.

  21. Green Caboose:

    Andre Agassi has long been an active contributor.

  22. Robert Farley:

    When I look, my eyes tell my brain $60000 in 1958 and 1959.

  23. Bill Murray:

    I was going by the salary given in the player value batting section

  24. jeer9:

    :>)

  25. joe from Lowell:

    A lot of NBA stars have been big Obama supporters

    The NBA seems to be the most Democratic big league, followed by the NHL. I’m not sure whether the NFL or MLB is more Republican, but they both seem to have a lot of right-wingers.

  26. Bill Murray:

    no Scousers — like The Beatles

  27. Bill Murray:

    and the notes in the salary section

  28. Bill Murray:

    really there have been only 47 seasons (by ~19 different players) of 10+ WAR in history

  29. Alan in SF:

    Stats aside, the man was a joy to watch. Mays and Mantle were obviously more gifted, but Musial had a purity that was truly zen-like. Hard to describe, but beautiful.

  30. James E. Powell:

    Thanks, I was too lazy to do the research myself. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Musial was underrated, but given where he stands, his name doesn’t come up that often in discussions of the immortals. Early manifestation of East Coast Bias?

  31. Bill Murray:

    Maybe, but he never really pushed himself forward and didn’t get to the WS after 1946. The cards were maybe the best supported team in MLB at that time, with the KMOX network carrying their games throughout the entire Midwest

  32. fan:

    i think so, but part of it was personality. dimaggio had mystique. williams was provocative. musial was the friendly guy who lives across the street.

    i may be mistaken but i believe that the baseball stats wonks say that if a team of nine musials played a team of nine dimaggios for a full season, it would be a total blowout.

  33. Davis X. Machina:

    Bill James, in the first Baseball Historical Absract, picked Musial over Williams in putting together his all-time outfield.

  34. rea:

    Magglio Ordonez is active in the United Socialist Party of Venezuela . . .

  35. MacCheerful:

    Could either of them pitch?

  36. Bill Murray:

    Musial started out as a pitcher, but hurt his arm and was moved to the outfield

  37. fan:

    When the stats wonks do that analysis, they assume that the pitching will be a wash between the two teams.

  38. socraticsilence:

    The Heat did the whole support of Trayvon bit.

  39. socraticsilence:

    Ali?

  40. Charles Giacometti:

    Musial was ok, but he was no Mike Cameron.

  41. rea:

    The 4 best LFs in history in no particular order: Ted Williams, Barry Bonds, Ricky Henderson, and Stan Musial. All great players, but Musial was the one who did not have a reputation as an asshole.

  42. actor212:

    I’ve been racking my brain but no other day occurs to me when two deaths of this magnitude have occured. This might be the closest MLB ever gets to the day Adams and Jefferson died.

    Quite the DP combo that was!

  43. Rob K:

    And also well ahead of his time on race relations. There are a number of anecdotes from the 1950s regarding his decency towards black players.

    Pretty remarkable guy in all – extraordinarily talented, but also extraordinarily grounded and good to other people.

  44. Hogan:

    And playing for the Cardinals, who had some of the truly great haters in the NL.

  45. Harry:

    Stan the Man is my hero. He was a gentleman and best consistent hitter in tight games. His top salary was $100,000 and he asked for a cut to $80,000 a year when his production dropped. Met him only once but saw him play several times and listened to Cardinal games on the radio thousands of times. I used a thin handled Musial model bat playing semi pro baseball. I am getting another Louisville Slugger in his honor.
    RIP Stan the Man

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