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Baseball Hall of Famer Stan Musial dies

Hall of Famer Stan Musial is pictured on October 2, 2010 greeting St. Louis Cardinals players in St. Louis, Missouri
Hall of Famer Stan Musial is pictured on October 2, 2010 greeting St. Louis Cardinals players in St. Louis, Missouri. Musial, one of baseball's greatest hitters and a Cardinals icon, has died at the age of 92.

Hall of Famer Stan Musial, one of baseball's greatest hitters and a St. Louis Cardinals icon, has died at the age of 92.

"We have lost the most beloved member of the Cardinals family," Cardinals chairman William DeWitt jnr said in a statement. "Stan Musial was the greatest player in Cardinals history and one of the best players in the history of baseball."

The team said Musial died Saturday at his home in St. Louis. He is survived by his children Richard, Gerry, Janet and Jean as well as 11 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

Lillian Musial, his wife of more than 70 years, had died last May, and Musial had been in declining health.

Nicknamed "Stan the Man", Musial played his entire 22-year Major League Baseball career with the Cardinals. He was a 24-time All-Star and a first-ballot Hall of Fame selection in 1969.

Musial won seven National League batting titles, was a three-time Most Valuable Player and helped St. Louis win three World Series titles in the 1940s.

US President Barack Obama awards the 2010 Medal of Freedom to Stan Musial during a ceremony on February 15, 2011
President Barack Obama awards the 2010 Medal of Freedom to Stan Musial during a ceremony at the White House on February 15, 2011. Musial, who died on January 19, 2013, played his entire 22-year MLB career with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Musial was signed by the Cardinals as a pitcher in 1938, but made his major league debut with them as an outfielder in 1941.

In 1948, he hit a career-high .376 to win the batting title, smacked 39 home runs, drove in 131 runs and scored 135.

In 1957, Musial became the first $100,000 player, and he won the last of his seven batting titles that season.

At the time of his retirement, Musial held or shared 17 major league records, 29 National League records, and nine All-Star Game records.

Musial served as the Cardinals' general manager in 1967 and then quit after his team won both the National League title and World Series that year.

Presented with the presidential medal of freedom by President Barack Obama in 2011, Musial is also honored with a statue at the Cardinals' Busch Stadium.

Musial was also a beloved ambassador of the game, with a ready smile and a knack for playing the harmonica.

Fellow Hall of Famer Red Schoendienst recalled the days when they roomed together as teammates.

"A lot of times we would go visit kids in hospitals whenever we were on the road," Schoendienst once said.

"He didn't want publicity for it, and he didn't do it to seek recognition or humanitarian awards. He just did it because he thought it was the right thing to do. He enjoyed making other people happy and maybe give them a small ray of sunshine to brighten up their lives," he said.

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