By George Vecsey
Whilst baseball lovers voted at the most sensible twenty-five gamers of the 20th century in 1999, Stan Musial didn’t make the minimize. This obvious omission—later rectified by way of a panel of experts—raised a massive query: How may possibly a first-ballot corridor of Famer, greatly one in every of the best hitters in baseball background, nonetheless rank because the so much underrated athlete of all time?
In Stan Musial, veteran activities journalist George Vecsey eventually supplies this twenty-time All-Star and St. Louis Cardinals icon the type of prestigious biographical therapy formerly afforded to his extra celebrated contemporaries Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio. greater than only a chronological recounting of the occasions of Musial’s existence, this is often the definitive portrait of 1 of the game’s best-loved yet such a lot unappreciated legends, advised in the course of the remembrances of these who performed beside, labored with, and coated “Stan the guy” over the process his approximately seventy years within the nationwide spotlight.
Stan Musial by no means married a starlet. He didn’t die younger, reside too difficult, or squander his expertise. there have been no mythical monitors of mood or moodiness. He was once purely the main constant celebrity of his period, a scarily talented batsman who compiled 3,630 occupation hits (1,815 at domestic and 1,815 at the road), gained 3 global sequence titles, and retired in 1963 in ownership of seventeen major-league documents. clear of the diamond, he proved a savvy businessman and a version of humility and graciousness towards his many lovers in St. Louis and around the globe. From Keith Hernandez’s boyhood thoughts of Musial leaving tickets for him whilst the Cardinals have been in San Francisco to the little-known tale of Musial’s friendship with novelist James Michener—and their mutual organization with Pope John Paul II—Vecsey weaves an intimate oral heritage round one of many nice gents of baseball’s maximum new release.
There might by no means be one other Stan the fellow, a proven fact that destiny corridor of Famer Albert Pujols—reluctantly nicknamed “El Hombre” in Musial’s honor—is quickly to recognize. yet because of this long-overdue reappraisal, even those that took his greatness with no consideration will discover ways to get pleasure from him yet again.
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Extra resources for Stan Musial: An American Life
Louis woman, wrote a letter to the papers thanking the lovers for his or her aid of purple, and folks from Red’s place of origin in southern Illinois by no means replaced the line signal: WELCOME TO GERMANTOWN, domestic OF purple SCHOENDIENST, ST. LOUIS CARDINALS. they need to have identified anything. Musial’s reminiscence of that lousy day: “The remainder of us acquired the note that pink have been traded simply as we have been boarding a teach out of St. Louis for an jap journey. It was once the saddest day of my profession. I slammed the door to my educate berth close and didn’t open it for a very long time. ” “Yeah, boy, he didn’t like that at all,” purple acknowledged. “I didn’t both. ” lengthy after purple used to be sacrificed, Broeg ultimately came upon the nerve to invite Stanley if he really could have hand over baseball instead of be traded. “Musial simply laughed,” Broeg recalled. “He says, ‘I wouldn’t file? I received to file, you recognize? ’ ” Broeg acknowledged Musial might were “crushed” to visit one other crew, yet as Broeg positioned it, “He wasn’t gonna stroll clear of his occupation. ” pink was once beautiful depressing in long island, however the alternate labored out for him. A yr and an afternoon after leaving the Cardinals, he used to be traded to Milwaukee, and shortly the various Braves could sidle as much as Musial on the batting cage and whisper that his blood brother used to be even higher than they can have imagined. crimson was once the lacking hyperlink, the pro who helped Henry Aaron and Eddie Mathews win pennants in 1957 and 1958. Schoendienst then shriveled tuberculosis, fought his long ago, and rejoined the Cardinals in 1961. by means of that point, dealer Lane used to be long past. One final result of the Schoendienst alternate was once that Busch introduced the hammer down on Lane, making him transparent all trades with the brewery. yet Lane used to be not anything if now not brazen, looking an extension of his agreement. Busch clarified concerns by way of sending Lane a telegram containing 3 little phrases: “Kiss my ass. ” Lane took the trace and moved on after the 1957 season. whereas operating in Cleveland, he could exchange Rocky Colavito, probably the most renowned gamers within the background of that franchise. He might even exchange managers in 1960, swapping Joe Gordon for Jimmy Dykes, nonetheless the one time managers have ever been traded. Stanley used to be now not perceived as a vengeful guy, yet he had his moments. In 1967, he may inherit Lane’s previous task as basic supervisor, with the prodigal purple because the supervisor. in the future the 2 outdated associates have been sitting up entrance within the staff bus that was once approximately to depart the lodge whilst dealer Lane hopped on board, hoping to join a journey to the ballpark, a courtesy occasionally prolonged to baseball associates. “I by no means observed Stan circulation so quickly in my life,” purple acknowledged. “He sprang up from his seat and walked to the place Lane was once sitting. ‘Get the hell out of here,’ he ordered Lane. ‘Get off our bus. ’ ” purple further: “I want Stan, or some other person, had the authority to inform Lane what to do in prior instances. Then might be I wouldn’t were headed to long island joining the Giants. ” at the least crimson helped win pennants. Stanley was once mired in a stagnant association, no longer getting any more youthful.