When I was just a young kid my father (May he rest in peace) taught me about baseball. He told me so much about the old-timers that I felt like I knew them. Of all the players on all of the teams, Stan Musial was without peer to him.
I use to marvel at his “corkscrew” stance and hear Dad tell me all the stories he knew about him. He told me about Musial getting five home runs in a double-header, quite a feat and still a record I believe. Musial was a genuine baseball Hall of Famer if there ever was one. He was a slugger, belting 475 HR and adding 1951 RBI. His career slash line is a ridiculous .331/.417/.559. His career OPS+ was 159. 15th on the all time list.
He won seven batting titles, his high-water mark in 1948 was .376. He won three MVP awards all within the first six years of playing major league ball. He finished runner-up four times and finished fourth once. Six times he lead the league in hits, and went over the 200 hit mark six times as well. He was the league leader in runs scored five times, in doubles seven times and he led the league five times in triples (a big surprise to me). He hit 20 triples in two different seasons.
He was the league leader in RBI twice, and he drove in over 100 runs on 10 occasions. Musial was on 24 All-Star teams, a record he shares with Willie Mays and Hank Aaron. He has the All-Star record for career HR with six. He is second behind Mays in hits and RBI.
Musial played 1B and all three OF positions. I was surprised to find that he actually played CF in 331 games.
After the age of 35 his line was .305/.387/.506 and he averaged 24 HR and 93 RBI with an OPS+ of 134.
His WAR of 123.4 places him ninth historically. He had a total of 3,630 career his, getting exactly half of them at home and half on the road. That is consistency. Musial was enshrined into the Hall of Fame in 1969 on the first ballot.
Mays said that he has never heard anyone say a bad word about Stan Musial. That, in itself is a eulogy. He died today at the age of 92.