One of the all-time greats is gone. R.I.P.
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.
Musial was so revered in St. Louis, two statues of him stand outside Busch Stadium. He spent his entire 22-year career with the Cardinals and made the All-Star team 24 times — baseball held two All-Star games each summer for a few seasons.
A pitcher in the low minors until he injured his arm, Musial turned to playing the outfield and first base. It was a stroke of luck for him, as he went on to hit .331 with 475 home runs before retiring in 1963.
Widely considered the greatest Cardinals player ever, the outfielder and first baseman was the first person in team history to have his number retired. Ol’ 6 probably was the most popular, too, especially after Albert Pujols skipped town.
UPDATE! Earl Weaver also is gone this day
A hot-tempered bantam who screamed curses at umpires and sometimes at his own players, Earl Weaver made the Baltimore Orioles into a baseball powerhouse during his 17 years as manager.
He was infamous for his explosive diatribes, which got him thrown out of almost 100 games, and for nervously smoking cigarettes throughout games, but no one could deny that the “Earl of Baltimore” was one of the greatest managers in baseball history.
Orioles officials announced that Mr. Weaver died Friday while on a team-sponsored Caribbean cruise with many of his former players. He was 82. A report on theMLB.com Web site attributed his death to an apparent heart attack.
Known as the “little genius,” Mr. Weaver had an inventive baseball mind and used every imprecation in his colorful vocabulary to inspire his players. Once, when one of his pitchers was struggling on the mound, an exasperated Mr. Weaver implored, “If you know how to cheat, start now.”
He was a crafty strategist who preached a simple formula for baseball success — good pitching, solid defense and three-run homers.