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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Bob Costas’ Eulogy For Stan Musial Was Midwestern Sports Reverence At Its Finest

Almost went back to pinning down The Cyrillic Typewriter a few times…but I made it through.

Repoz Posted: January 26, 2013 at 07:58 PM | 25 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cardinals, history

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   1. AndrewJ Posted: January 26, 2013 at 08:21 PM (#4355706)
Costas gets teased here a lot, but this is a great eulogy.
   2. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: January 26, 2013 at 08:58 PM (#4355720)
Seconded. Definitely worth the 19+ minutes' investment.
   3. SavoyBG Posted: January 26, 2013 at 09:05 PM (#4355726)
Bob, Stan played in FOUR world series, you said three.

1942-43-44-46
   4. Ok, Griffey's Dunn (Nothing Iffey About Griffey) Posted: January 26, 2013 at 09:15 PM (#4355728)
That was excellent.
   5. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 26, 2013 at 09:24 PM (#4355733)
Always quote Yogi when you have the opportunity. Well done in every aspect.
   6. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: January 26, 2013 at 09:50 PM (#4355744)
I sent this clip to a Cardinals fan friend of mine, and after watching it he wired back an amazing bit of Musial trivia I hadn't known before: In 1943, Stan hit 20 triples and struck out 18 times.
   7. AndrewJ Posted: January 26, 2013 at 09:51 PM (#4355745)
Bob is hereby permitted to rant about gun control and the wild card as loudly and as frequently as he likes.
   8. bobm Posted: January 26, 2013 at 10:07 PM (#4355750)
[6] For single seasons, From 1920 to 2012, (requiring 3B>SO and Qualified for league batting title), sorted by greatest Triples

                                                       
Rk                 Player 3B SO Year Age  Tm Lg   G  PA
1           Dale Mitchell 23 11 1949  27 CLE AL 149 685
2              Paul Waner 22 19 1926  23 PIT NL 144 618
3            Jake Daubert 22 21 1922  38 CIN NL 156 701
4               Edd Roush 21 11 1924  31 CIN NL 121 519
5             Stan Musial 20 18 1943  22 STL NL 157 700
6           Heinie Manush 20 14 1928  26 SLB AL 154 697
7    Shoeless Joe Jackson 20 14 1920  32 CHW AL 146 649
8              Paul Waner 19 16 1928  25 PIT NL 152 698
9              Paul Waner 18 14 1927  24 PIT NL 155 709
10               Sam Rice 18 12 1923  33 WSH AL 148 671
11              Edd Roush 18 16 1923  30 CIN NL 138 592
12          George Sisler 18 14 1922  29 SLB AL 142 655
13            Pie Traynor 17 14 1926  27 PIT NL 152 639
14              Edd Roush 16 14 1925  32 CIN NL 134 590
15             Lou Finney 15 13 1940  29 BOS AL 130 574
16             Jack Tobin 15 13 1923  31 SLB AL 151 696
17          Carson Bigbee 15 13 1922  27 PIT NL 150 691
18       Billy Southworth 15 13 1921  28 BSN NL 141 642
19            Lloyd Waner 14 10 1935  29 PIT NL 122 562
20            Lloyd Waner 14 13 1928  22 PIT NL 152 719
21               Sam Rice 14 11 1927  37 WSH AL 142 651
22           Tris Speaker 14 12 1921  33 CLE AL 132 588
23               Sam Rice 13 10 1925  35 WSH AL 152 710
24               Sam Rice 13 10 1921  31 WSH AL 143 630
25             Nellie Fox 12 11 1951  23 CHW AL 147 682
Rk                 Player 3B SO Year Age  Tm Lg   G  PA
26            Pie Traynor 12  7 1929  30 PIT NL 130 596
27            Pie Traynor 12 10 1928  29 PIT NL 144 640
28              Edd Roush 12  8 1921  28 CIN NL 112 463
29         Frankie Frisch 11 10 1927  28 STL NL 153 693
30               Sam Rice 10  9 1929  39 WSH AL 150 689
31              Andy High 10  9 1926  28 BSN NL 130 533
32         Stuffy McInnis 10  9 1921  30 BOS AL 152 644
33            Lloyd Waner  8  5 1936  30 PIT NL 106 444
34      Charlie Hollocher  8  5 1922  26 CHC NL 152 691
35             Debs Garms  7  6 1940  33 PIT NL 103 385
36               Sam Rice  7  6 1932  42 WSH AL 106 323
37             Joe Sewell  7  4 1925  26 CLE AL 155 699
38         Stuffy McInnis  7  6 1924  33 BSN NL 146 611
39         Stuffy McInnis  7  5 1922  31 CLE AL 142 582
40             Joe Sewell  6  3 1930  31 CLE AL 109 414


   9. bobm Posted: January 26, 2013 at 10:17 PM (#4355755)
Spanning Multiple Seasons or entire Careers, From 1940 to 2012, (requiring SO<4*3B and At least 5000 plate appearances), sorted by greatest Triples

                                                 
Rk           Player  3B  SO    PA From   To   Age
1       Stan Musial 177 696 12717 1941 1963 20-42
2    Enos Slaughter 133 447  7991 1940 1959 24-43
3     Lance Johnson 117 384  5800 1987 2000 23-36
4        Nellie Fox 112 216 10351 1947 1965 19-37
5      Joe DiMaggio  82 252  5128 1940 1951 25-36
6        Elmer Valo  73 284  6091 1940 1961 19-40
7      Dixie Walker  56 204  5519 1940 1949 29-38
8      Tommy Holmes  47 122  5564 1942 1952 25-35


   10. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: January 26, 2013 at 10:22 PM (#4355757)
Interesting list in #8, Bob, but of the top 5, Mitchell played in a park with a huge outfield territory all around, while Stan played in a relative bandbox. And the other 3 played in even bigger parks (Forbes and the pre-1927 Crosley), in an era where the strikeout rate was considerably lower than it was in 1943. Given the full context, I'd still say that Musial's feat was the most impressive.
   11. Morty Causa Posted: January 26, 2013 at 10:55 PM (#4355765)
Nice eulogy. I usually consider them as they are usually meant--pro forma within a closed cognoscenti--but this was touching. Costa's recount of Mantle and Musial's visit together has an emotional impact--even a crushing one. It's a testament to both men.
   12. Transmission Posted: January 27, 2013 at 12:44 AM (#4355805)
That was twenty minutes well spent.
   13. Rough Carrigan Posted: January 27, 2013 at 01:57 AM (#4355824)
Of course, Musial's 1943 season was accomplished against a league of less than normal major league quality.
   14. MM1f Posted: January 27, 2013 at 02:38 AM (#4355837)
Oh God, the Mantle on Musial (and Mantle on Mantle) part around 12-13 min is heartbreaking.
   15. Publius Publicola Posted: January 27, 2013 at 10:50 AM (#4355885)
My dad was of Musial's era and he knew some major league ballplayers and he told me this story about Musial:

When Musial was a young pitcher in the minors, he hurt his arm so badly he couldn't pitch anymore and feared his prospects were over. He was recently married and had a young child and he was desperate to support his family and he didn't know how he was going to do that without baseball. Fortunately for Musial, he had a minor league manager, Dickie Kerr, who was sympathetic to his situation. Kerr took Musial and his young family in to his own house and let him stay with him over the winter while Musial figured out what to do. It was Kerr who convinced Stan he could stay in baseball as a hitter and worked with Stan and helped convert him to outfielder. Musial never forgot that act of kindness and generosity and I think it probably figured somehow in the way Musial's own personality evolved.
   16. Gonfalon B. Posted: January 27, 2013 at 11:37 AM (#4355897)
In 1958, Musial bought a bungalow house in Houston (costing 10-20% of his salary at the time) and gave it to Kerr as a thank you.
   17. Matt Welch Posted: January 27, 2013 at 01:28 PM (#4355961)
Costas was great on the MLB Network's hour-long Musial appreciation, too.
   18. Tom Nawrocki Posted: January 27, 2013 at 02:19 PM (#4355984)
Dickie Kerr was also one of the clean players on the 1919 Black Sox.
   19. esseff Posted: January 27, 2013 at 04:15 PM (#4356057)
And Musial named his son for Kerr, though as the son matured he went from Dickie to Dick to Richard Musial.

Just to clean up some minor points in the story in #15: Musial's conversion to outfield was in the works before his arm injury at Class-D Daytona Beach in late August 1940. A previous manager, Harrison Wickel, had recommended Musial's release at one point because he was no major-league prospect as a pitcher, then came around in an organizational report in April 1940 to the position that he might make it as a hitter. Another Cardinals minor-leaguer staffer named Wid Matthews made the same observation about the same time.

The story of the bad-armed pitcher having to turn to hitting and becoming a star is poetic, but the fact is that Musial both pitched and played outfield for Kerr at Daytona in 1940, before the injury. He got over 400 at-bats and was, in fact, playing center field in late August when he sustained the injury diving for a ball. But the crisis nature of the injury may be overstated in the retelling. Musial pitched -- and won -- a game for Daytona that season after the injury. It was Burt Shotton, then working for the Cardinals, who finally pulled the plug on Musial as a pitcher in spring 1941. In one final appearance in March 1941, Musial pitched for a team of Cardinals minor-leaguers that played a spring game in Georgia against the major-leaguers, and he gave up homers to Mize and Terry Moore.

Also, it was upon the birth of their son in early August 1940, before the injury, that the Musials moved in with the Kerrs. (They spent their winters in Donora, where Musial would work in his father-in-law's store.)
   20. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 27, 2013 at 04:53 PM (#4356079)
reiterating comments above that was a fine job by costas

minor thing. bob, the hair dye has to go.
   21. Don Malcolm Posted: January 27, 2013 at 05:34 PM (#4356119)
Lovely, heartfelt tribute that rambled a bit in the final minutes but finished strongly. Harry Caray was right: we'll probably never see a player like Stan Musial ever again, particularly the one people saw in his first ten full seasons (1942-51). Stan hit 127 triples in that span, 50 more than the next closest player (his long-time teammate Enos Slaughter).

That's 65% more triples than the next best player. Factor in that fact with all of the more well-known manifestations of Musial's greatness and you have one of the game's truly unique players.
   22. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: January 27, 2013 at 10:42 PM (#4356267)
Well played, Mr. Costas. And good call on the hair dye, HW.
   23. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: January 27, 2013 at 11:30 PM (#4356285)
Thoroughly moving. Very well done by Costas.
   24. Der-K, the bloodied charmer Posted: January 28, 2013 at 01:05 AM (#4356330)
Surpassed the build up; well done indeed.
   25. Esoteric Posted: January 28, 2013 at 01:18 AM (#4356341)
Wow. This lived up to the hype. The Mantle anecdote is what got me. Had never, ever heard that.

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