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Saturday, January 19, 2013

MLB: Cardinals mourn loss of Stan Musial

The entire St. Louis Cardinals family is deeply saddened by the passing of Cardinals Hall of Famer Stan Musial at the age of 92.  Musial, who played his entire 22-year major league career (1941-63) for the Cardinals, died this evening at his home in Ladue surrounded by his family.

“We have lost the most beloved member of the Cardinals family,” said William DeWitt Jr., Chairman of the St. Louis Cardinals.  “Stan Musial was the greatest player in Cardinals history and one of the best players in the history of baseball.” “The entire Cardinals organization extends its sincere condolences to Stan’s family, including his children Richard, Gerry, Janet and Jean, as well as his eleven grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren,” DeWitt said.  “We join fans everywhere in mourning the loss of our dear friend and reflect on how fortunate we all are to have known ‘Stan the Man’.”

Musial was the first player in Cardinals history to have his uniform number retired, and he was a first-ballot Hall of Fame selection in 1969, being named on 93 percent of the ballots.  At his retirement ceremony at the end of the 1963 season, Musial was referred to as “baseball’s perfect warrior, baseball’s perfect knight” by Commissioner Ford C. Frick.    Frick’s words are inscribed at the base of a bronze statue of Musial that stands outside Busch Stadium.  The now iconic statute, which sits on Musial Plaza along Stan Musial Drive, serves as a popular, almost hallowed, gathering spot for generations of Cardinals fans.

Repoz Posted: January 19, 2013 at 08:55 PM | 106 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: obit

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   1. AndrewJ Posted: January 19, 2013 at 08:56 PM (#4350705)
Sad day for baseball.
   2. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: January 19, 2013 at 09:01 PM (#4350707)
Oh no.
   3. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: January 19, 2013 at 09:03 PM (#4350708)
Worst ####### day ever.
   4. AndrewJ Posted: January 19, 2013 at 09:08 PM (#4350709)
Stan Musial dies the weekend Lance Armstrong hogs the headlines. 2013 is shaping up to be quite a year.
   5. Gamingboy Posted: January 19, 2013 at 09:11 PM (#4350710)
"Here stands baseball's perfect warrior. Here stands baseball's perfect knight."
   6. jobu Posted: January 19, 2013 at 09:12 PM (#4350711)
I got the chance to meet him, when I was a kid, 35 years ago. In all likelihood, the best baseball player I'll ever meet (doubt I'll ever meet Aaron or Mays). And, I think, the most underrated player by the casual baseball fan.
   7. OCF Posted: January 19, 2013 at 09:14 PM (#4350712)
Yes, a sad day. I am (or once was, or something like that) a Cardinal fan, and my impression is that I'm clearly older than the median age around here. And by the time I became a serious fan, Stan Musial had already retired - and he didn't retire young. May we all live such lives.

The greatest living (retired) Cardinal is now Bob Gibson.
   8. Gamingboy Posted: January 19, 2013 at 09:17 PM (#4350713)
I can't really think of a day that was this crappy (baseball-wise) in a long time. Probably since Kalas and Fidrych died only a few days after Adenhart died.
   9. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 19, 2013 at 09:17 PM (#4350714)
A great hitter, a better person, by most accounts. RIP.
   10. AndrewJ Posted: January 19, 2013 at 09:19 PM (#4350715)
The first time two HOF members died on the same day. In other words, January 19, 2013 is now the metaphysical opposite of May 27, 1968.
   11. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: January 19, 2013 at 09:20 PM (#4350716)
Oh man :(
   12. AndrewJ Posted: January 19, 2013 at 09:21 PM (#4350717)
Baseball has the most fun stats of any sport, and baseball stats don't get much more fun than 1815 career hits at home, 1815 career hits on the road.
   13. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 19, 2013 at 09:22 PM (#4350718)
First Earl, now Stan. One born in St. Louis, the other made his mark there. What a sad day for the game.
   14. BDC Posted: January 19, 2013 at 09:26 PM (#4350719)
Very sad indeed, and an occasion to remember one of the best people and players in the game's history.

Also virtually the end of an era. Bobby Doerr is now the only prominent player from the '30s and early '40s still alive; Ralph Kiner, Yogi Berra, and Andy Pafko are the biggest living stars of the '40s. A reminder of the relentless march of generations. I saw Musial play once in an Old-Timers Game; conversely, Ty Cobb died when I was two years old. Mortality …
   15. AndrewJ Posted: January 19, 2013 at 09:28 PM (#4350720)
There must have been something in the Sportsman's Park water supply during the 1940s: Musial, Marion, Detwhiler and Freddy Schmidt all lived past 90. Red Schoendienst turns 90 in two weeks. And Harry Breechen lived till 89. There haven't been that many pennant/World Series winners with such longevity.
   16. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: January 19, 2013 at 09:28 PM (#4350721)
RIP, Stan. The most fun left handed batting stance for a kid to imitate in my life.
   17. Coot Veal and Cot Deal taste like Old Bay Posted: January 19, 2013 at 09:33 PM (#4350724)
Sad day for baseball.


Indeed. R.I.P., Stan Musial.
   18. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: January 19, 2013 at 09:34 PM (#4350725)
Sad news, yet for those of us (like Stan) who believe in a greater reward, not necessarily the worst news. A man who was a giant in his day, both in terms of baseball and as a human being. I'd be a lot more upset if I didn't believe he was in a far better place now.

Godspeed, Donora Greyhound.
   19. BDC Posted: January 19, 2013 at 09:36 PM (#4350726)
The most fun left handed batting stance for a kid to imitate

You're right – I can still do that too. "Like a kid peeking around a door"; you sort of rest your chin on your right shoulder. And who knows why I used to try to do that. Musial retired when I was four years old, I only knew his stance from still photos and that one OT game, and I was right-handed anyway.
   20. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: January 19, 2013 at 09:45 PM (#4350730)
Noooooooooooooooooooooooo! Dammit.

RIP, The Man.
   21. Cooper Nielson Posted: January 19, 2013 at 09:47 PM (#4350731)
I let out an audible "Oh no!" when I saw this scroll across the ESPN chyron. And yet, the guy made it to 92 years old, was extremely successful in his chosen field, and was universally beloved and admired. If there was ever a time to celebrate a life instead of mourn a death, this is it. But I'm still sad.
   22. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: January 19, 2013 at 09:49 PM (#4350732)
I let out an audible "Oh no!" when I saw this scroll across the ESPN chyron. And yet, the guy made it to 92 years old, was extremely successful in his chosen field, and was universally beloved and admired. If there was ever a time to celebrate a life instead of mourn a death, this is it. But I'm still sad.
Sounds 100% right to me. Here's to a good man with a life well-lived.
   23. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: January 19, 2013 at 09:52 PM (#4350734)
I guess now is not the time to fulminate about how MLB had to co-opt Stan The Man onto the All-Century Team back in 1999 because the idiot fans in the voting public didn't realize that he was one of the 5-10 best human beings to ever swing a bat.

Eh, it still ticks me off. Probably wouldn't have bothered Stan. But it irked me then when I was a much younger guy (a teenager!) and irks me a bit still.
   24. Tim D Posted: January 19, 2013 at 09:55 PM (#4350735)
What can you say? One of the best anybody ever saw, period. He will be pounding gappers to the wall in heaven.
   25. flournoy Posted: January 19, 2013 at 09:55 PM (#4350736)
The first time two HOF members died on the same day. In other words, January 19, 2013 is now the metaphysical opposite of May 27, 1968.


Baseball has the most fun stats of any sport, and baseball stats don't get much more fun than 1815 career hits at home, 1815 career hits on the road.


Barking up the same tree, because of Stan Musial, Ken Griffey Jr. was only the second best left handed outfielder born on November 21st in Donora, PA.
   26. Hecubot Posted: January 19, 2013 at 09:57 PM (#4350737)
One of the great virtues of the first Bill James Historical Abstract was the case he made for the greatness of Stan Musial at a time when his reputation had dimmed.

   27. silhouetted by the sea Posted: January 19, 2013 at 10:01 PM (#4350739)
One of the great quotes in baseball history.

"I've had pretty good success with Stan (Musial) by throwing him my best pitch and backing up third." - Carl Erskine


RIP Stan
   28. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 19, 2013 at 10:03 PM (#4350740)
Just sweeping the racism under the rug, I see.

Seriously, may he rest in peace. But as Cooper notes, he lived a long time, was among the best to ever play his sport and perhaps was the most universally loved and respected among the inner circle types. It sucks that he's gone, but that's one hell of a legacy he left behind.

   29. Howie Menckel Posted: January 19, 2013 at 10:06 PM (#4350741)

Cardinals fans of the era used to root for this gentleman to win the NL batting title every year when that was far bigger a goal than today. Stan's finishes, 1st 18 years

3rd
1st
2nd
WAR (not the stat, the scary one)
1st
5th
1st
2nd
1st
1st
1st
3rd
4th
3rd
4th
1st
3rd

Started before integration, and soon competed with Banks, Mays, Aaron, Clemente, FRobinson, etc. He held up rather well, once given the privilege to actually play against his peers.
   30. salvomania Posted: January 19, 2013 at 10:06 PM (#4350742)
Just sweeping the racism under the rug, I see.


Seriously?

Is this a reference to the long debunked story about Curt Flood and Musial's restaurant?

EDIT: Also, Musial refused to go along with a boycott against playing the Dodgers proposed by several Cardinals when Jackie Robinson broke in. While he wasn't vocally advocating for Robinson, neither did he make an effort--as many did--to prevent him from playing.
   31. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: January 19, 2013 at 10:15 PM (#4350744)
Yeah, but he referenced it sarcastically
   32. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 19, 2013 at 10:16 PM (#4350746)
There must have been something in the Sportsman's Park water supply during the 1940s: Musial, Marion, Detwhiler and Freddy Schmidt all lived past 90. Red Schoendienst turns 90 in two weeks. And Harry Breechen lived till 89. There haven't been that many pennant/World Series winners with such longevity.

I was just talking to a friend and Stan Musial Society member, and we were imagining a Cardinals-Yankees Spring training game circa 1954, which likely would have had three still-living keystone combo members (Schoendienst, Solly Hemus and Jerry Coleman) and a fourth (Phil Rizzuto) who lived to 89.
   33. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: January 19, 2013 at 10:17 PM (#4350747)
Always liked Pujols explaining he didn't really like the "El Hombre" nickname "because Stan is the man."
   34. AndrewJ Posted: January 19, 2013 at 10:19 PM (#4350748)
One of the great virtues of the first Bill James Historical Abstract was the case he made for the greatness of Stan Musial at a time when his reputation had dimmed.

Indeed:

He was never colorful, never much of an interview. He makes a better statue.

What he was was a ballplayer. He didn't spit at fans, he didn't get into fights at nightclubs, he didn't marry anybody famous. He hustled. You look at his career totals of doubles and triples, and they'll remind you of something that was accepted while he was active, and has been largely forgotten since: Stan Musial was one player who always left the batter's box on a dead run. (...) Stan Musial, while active was probably the most respected player, by press, fans and other players, of the postwar era -- more so than Mays, Mantle, Williams, Rose or anyone else.


And as for the Musial vs. Williams as the Greatest Left Fielder Ever, James concluded: "I'd take Musial in left field, Musial on the basepaths, Musial in the clubhouse and Williams only with the wood in his hand. And Stan Musial could hit a little, too."
   35. AndrewJ Posted: January 19, 2013 at 10:21 PM (#4350749)
Musial, Marion, Detwhiler and Freddy Schmidt all lived past 90.

Detwhiler=Danny Litwhiler. Senior moment.
   36. salvomania Posted: January 19, 2013 at 10:22 PM (#4350750)
Yeah, but he referenced it sarcastically


Sorry. totally missed that. Forgot about the whole Murray Chass "MR.PRESIDENT" thing. Sarcasm filter not in fine form right now.
   37. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: January 19, 2013 at 10:26 PM (#4350753)
This article by Joe Posnanski on Stan Musial is one of the best, I think, in capturing the essence of Stan the Man. Tremendous player and tremendous figure, to the people of St Louis and baseball.
   38. Tim McCarver's Orange Marmalade Posted: January 19, 2013 at 10:28 PM (#4350755)
"I WASN'T WORTHY TO CLEAN HIS TOILET, MR. PRESIDENT"; MURRAY CHASS
   39. Howie Menckel Posted: January 19, 2013 at 11:03 PM (#4350768)

It's interesting that the stats by the Stan Musials and Monte Irvins may validate both the superstar MLB stats of just before 1947, as well as the Negro League stats from the same period.

Far many others players involved, of course, too - just 2 examples. An intersection of greatness, in spite of cultural inanity.

   40. AndrewJ Posted: January 19, 2013 at 11:08 PM (#4350770)
We could reprise the old Bill James piece about the age of Phil Niekro this evening...

Janis Joplin was born 70 years old today (1/19/1943). On the day she was born, Stan Musial was already a star major leaguer. Stan Musial made his big league debut before most Americans had ever heard of Pearl Harbor, long-playing records or Harry S. Truman. Rodgers and Hammerstein had yet to collaborate when Stan debuted. Ditto Lerner & Loewe, Martin & Lewis or Les Paul & Mary Ford. Stan was a star when all nine of Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr.'s children were still alive. Stan played World Series games at Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park before either of those venues had lights. Stan was Catholic, and retired from MLB while Masses were still conducted in Latin. When Stan entered the major leagues in September 1941, the Hall of Fame had exactly 26 members, 11 of whom were living.
   41. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: January 19, 2013 at 11:10 PM (#4350772)
Aw, crap. My condolences to ... well, all of baseball, really, & of course especially Cardinals fans & the organization.
   42. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: January 19, 2013 at 11:18 PM (#4350775)
From the Posnanski article, Tony LaRussa on Musial:
"All you have to do to understand what Stan Musial means is watch him around other Hall of Famers. You can fool fans sometimes. You can fool the media sometimes. But you really can't fool other players. And when you see Musial in a group of Hall of Famers, they hold him in such high esteem.... It's like he's on another level."
The headline atop this thread is fundamentally wrong, really. It isn't just the Cardinals or St. Louis who are mourning the death of Stan Musial. It's all baseball fans, everywhere.
   43. hardrain Posted: January 19, 2013 at 11:22 PM (#4350776)
What the hell is going on today?
   44. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: January 19, 2013 at 11:28 PM (#4350779)
My Dad is and will always be a Ken Boyer man, but the reverence with which he speaks of Musial has always stayed with me. Wish to God I could've seen him play. What a man. R.I.P.
   45. AndrewJ Posted: January 19, 2013 at 11:35 PM (#4350781)
He got "The Man" from fans at Ebbets Field. One sign of how respected he was.
   46. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: January 19, 2013 at 11:45 PM (#4350783)
There must have been something in the Sportsman's Park water supply during the 1940s

certainly something in the water supply of Donora Pa (pop =5,653)
   47. bjhanke Posted: January 19, 2013 at 11:47 PM (#4350786)
Goodbye, Stan. I'm glad I'm old enough to have seen you play and I'm not glad I'm old very often.

BTW, I have never heard any "debunking" of the Flood/Musial story, and it was told as praise of Stan, anyway. The reference is to Flood's first autobiography, "The Way It Is." When Flood came up to the Cardinals, one of the most famous restaurants in town was "Musial and Biggie's." Back in the minors, when all he knew was that he was not going to make the majors as a pitcher, but might as a hitter, Stan got hooked up with an Italian chef nicknamed "Biggie" and the two set up the restaurant when Stan did get established in STL. "Stan's Homers and Biggie's Steaks" was the motto. Pretty decent steakhouse, when I went there. Well, Flood and a date went to the restaurant one day and were turned away because they were black. Curt mentioned it to Stan the next day, and by the end of that day, Musial had been on the phone, and Musial and Biggie's was open to everyone. Flood, Gibson and Bill White all make it clear in their bios that Musial was the opposite of a racist. The story that, if I remember right, all three tell, is of going to spring training one year, only to find out that the hotel the Cards used didn't allow blacks. Gussie Busch, apparently also not a racist, talked a friend of his into buying another hotel in the town so that the whole team could stay together. Musial and Ken Boyer, the two big stars on the team at the time, were paid enough to have private cabanas on the beach, but gave them up and stayed at the hotel as a show of solidarity with their black teammates. There's nothing to debunk. The stories make Stan out to be willing to actually do something to oppose racism, not just sit there and watch integration happen. In other words, Stan was the same person in private that he was in public.

I have a friend named Jim who works in parking garages as a valet parker. One day, he got Stan's car for him. Jim's not a baseball fan, but knows I am, so he asked Stan if he could have an autograph to give me. Stan whipped out TWO pictures of himself, and autographed one for me and another for Jim. That's what I will remember.

- Brock Hanke
   48. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: January 19, 2013 at 11:54 PM (#4350788)
well..they always say it comes in threes--so--who's next?
   49. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: January 19, 2013 at 11:57 PM (#4350790)
I'm polishing up a proposed Constitutional Amendment that will remove January 19 from all American calendars and replace it with January 32. Should have it in the mail to my senator's office Tuesday morning.
   50. Dag is a salt water fish in fresh water world Posted: January 19, 2013 at 11:58 PM (#4350791)
Musial & Weaver.

Reminds me of Jim Henson & Sammy Davis Jr dying on the same day. I'm sure there are other pairs, but that's the one I remember.
   51. Bruce Markusen Posted: January 20, 2013 at 12:01 AM (#4350792)
I'm amazed that Musial made 331 appearances in center field. When you think of outfielder/first basemen, you tend to think of corner outfielders. That he was good enough to play a significant amount of time in center field, and not just the corners, must say something about his outfield skills.
   52. Steve Treder Posted: January 20, 2013 at 12:05 AM (#4350793)
I never saw Musial play. But my next-eldest brother's very first big league game was this one, to which my Dad took him because it was The Man's retirement-victory lap final appearance in San Francisco. (I was just five, too young to tag along. DAMN!) And my stupid brother got to see the Giants hit back-to-back-to-back homers leading off the 3rd inning. My Dad always said that my brother very nearly died from overexcitement.

The Man was just about as exquisite a baseball player as can be imagined. May he rest in peace.
   53. Steve Treder Posted: January 20, 2013 at 12:08 AM (#4350794)
well..they always say it comes in threes--so--who's next?

That's what I told my wife today after I heard about Weaver and Musial ... every old-geezer HOFer should be hammering out that last will and testament just about now.
   54. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 20, 2013 at 12:15 AM (#4350796)
RIP Stan. I think Cooper summed up my sentiment well in #21 here. And I really hope the "death-comes-in-three" thing doesn't hold up.
   55. Dag is a salt water fish in fresh water world Posted: January 20, 2013 at 12:15 AM (#4350797)
Born on Bloody Sunday in Ireland. Not to be confused w/ Bloody Sunday in North Ireland - that was after he retired.

Born before there was such a thing as a baseball commissioner.

He lived under 17 different presidential administrations.

The first Bears-Packers game took place six days after his birth.

George Gipp was alive when Musial was born. Ditto Enrico Caruso, John Butler Yeats, Alexander Graham Bell, Marcel Proust, Gustave Eiffel (yeah, the Tower guy), Joseph Conrad, William Jennings Bryan, Harry Houdini, Eugene V. Debs, and Wyatt Earp,

Just a month younger than Montgomery Clift. Howard Unruh, who spent 60 years in prison after killing 13 people in 1949, is younger than Musial. Ditto Sugar Ray Robinson, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, Deborah Kerr, Prague Spring head Alexander Dubcek, Harold Washington, Judy Garland, Ava Gardner, Bob Dole, Hank Williams Sr., 1970s president Jimmy Carter, filmmaker Ed Wood, Rod Serling, Bloody Sam Peckinpaugh, Flannery O'Connor, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., Peter Sellers, RFK, Marilyn Monroe, John Coltrane, and all the Golden Girls.

Folks, he's older than Abe Vigoda.
   56. something like a train wreck Posted: January 20, 2013 at 12:16 AM (#4350799)
I was 7 when he played his last game and in an AL city, so I never saw him play. If a genie gave me three wishes, my first would be to have seen Williams and the second Musial.
   57. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: January 20, 2013 at 12:20 AM (#4350801)
Denny Matthews, the voice of the Kansas City Royals, was just on The Bernie (Miklasz) Show. He told Bernie a story from when he (Denny) got to interview Willie Mays years ago. Willie seemed especially talkative that day, which was not necessarily his reputation with the media. So, Denny took a chance and asked him if he had anything to say about Stan Musial.

Willie's eyes lit up as he said "we all loved Stan Musial", "he played the game the right way", etc. Then he told Denny, "let me tell you a story".

Denny couldn't remember the exact year, but at an All-Star game in the late 1950s, all of the black players hung out together in the clubhouse, because most of the white guys didn't fully include them yet. So, they were sitting in a corner playing poker when Stan Musial started walking directly towards them, pulled up a chair, and sat down to start playing poker with them. It quickly became clear that Stan didn't have a clue how to play poker and that this was his way making sure those guys felt included. Willie had been grinning as he was telling Denny the story, but then he quickly became quite serious and looked Denny in the eye, telling him, "We never forgot that."
   58. salvomania Posted: January 20, 2013 at 12:33 AM (#4350803)

BTW, I have never heard any "debunking" of the Flood/Musial story, and it was told as praise of Stan, anyway.


I actually think I'm recalling the version of the story as related, third-hand, in the infamous Chass blog post:

"As a person, however, he left much to be desired. Marvin Miller raised the issue in a recent conversation and provided the evidence to make his case. It is a convincing one.

...“Curt Flood organized this group of African-American players,” Miller related, “He got together a group that had known Musial as a teammate and they thought it was appropriate that they should go. As he said to me, ‘We didn’t always dress up but that night we did. We wore freshly pressed pants, shirts, ties, jackets and off we went to help celebrate with our former teammate.

“When we got to the restaurant, the maitre d’ refused to seat us,” Flood told Miller.

“He said they wanted to know why that was,” Miller continued, “and the maître d’ finally pointed around the restaurant and said, ‘Do you see any black faces here?’ Flood said he asked ‘Is this your idea?’ No, he said. The owner had given him instructions. They left.”


The owner in the story, of course, is supposed to have been Musial. This was the story I was referring to that had been debunked.

   59. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 20, 2013 at 12:38 AM (#4350804)
I was 7 when he played his last game and in an AL city, so I never saw him play. If a genie gave me three wishes, my first would be to have seen Williams and the second Musial.

Only got to see Musial play twice in Washington, in the 1956 and 1962 All-Star games. In the 1956 game there were 4 home runs, 1 each by Mays, Williams, Mantle and Musial. In 1962 I got an autograph from him at the hotel while he was eating lunch the day before the game. I can't believe I ever did that, but he smiled and signed and couldn't have been nicer. And then in the game itself, he pinch hit in the middle innings, lined a single to right, was taken out for a pinch runner, and got the biggest ovation of the afternoon. Turned out to be his last All-Star game hit ever. I saw Mantle and Williams play many times, but I sure as hell wish that Washington had been a two league city.
   60. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: January 20, 2013 at 12:48 AM (#4350810)
I actually think I'm recalling the version of the story as related, third-hand, in the infamous Chass blog post:

"As a person, however, he left much to be desired. Marvin Miller raised the issue in a recent conversation and provided the evidence to make his case. It is a convincing one.
Every time I think I hate Murray Chass, I'm reminded that I really hate him so much more than that.
   61. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: January 20, 2013 at 01:00 AM (#4350811)
2 I got an autograph from him at the hotel while he was eating lunch the day before the game. I can't believe I ever did that, but he smiled and signed and couldn't have been nicer. And then in the game itself, he pinch hit in the middle innings, lined a single to right, was taken out for a pinch runner, and got the biggest ovation of the afternoon

God--I remember that so well, except I saw it on television, not in poison, like you did Andy
   62. Steve Treder Posted: January 20, 2013 at 01:05 AM (#4350814)
Folks, he's older than Abe Vigoda.

Luv it.
   63. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: January 20, 2013 at 01:30 AM (#4350820)
I read about Musial's stance for as long as I could remember but never saw it. At the 1999 All Star Game when he was introduced as part of the All Century Nominees he quickly struck the pose for just a moment. Yeah he was 79 years old but for that split second he was 28 and I was given the opportunity to jump into a time machine and see this baseball legend in his iconic stance. Thanks Stan.
   64. bjhanke Posted: January 20, 2013 at 01:57 AM (#4350823)
Bruce (#51) - When Musial came up, he had center field skills. In fact, his nickname at the time wasn't The Man, but The Donora Greyhound, because he ran so fast. It's hard to think of people looking at Stan Musial play and being most impressed with his speed, but they were. The reason that he didn't start out as a center fielder was named Terry Moore. Moore is one of the handful of candidates for greatest defensive outfielder ever, and was the team captain. In the 1940s and 1950s, the Cardinals had some weird ideas of who to play where in the outfield. Essentially, they'd decide where to play the other two starters they thought they had, and Stan would play whatever was left. So his career really was split between left, center and right, with a lot of first base thrown in, sometimes for no good reason, as he was a better outfielder than some of the starters. He gets listed as a left fielder because that was where he had the most value. Sportsmans' Park, where Stan played his entire career, had a small right field area, which meant that left field was actually the harder position to play. You didn't need a great arm in RF in that ballpark. RF was so small that it had a big screen in front of the seats there that fans had to look through, sort of a mirror image of Fenway if you can imagine spectators seated behind The Monster. But, being a screen instead of a wall, it had no bounceback, so there was no "playing the wall" skill, like there is in Fenway. Any ball that got to the screen just fell straight down for a double. Without the screen, Stan would probably have had more than 500 homers, but many fewer doubles. The concept of Stan as a doubles hitter is mostly driven by the park.

The "owner" mentioned in #58 would have been Biggie. Stan wasn't a chef; he didn't run a restaurant. It was his name and Biggie's food. Curt talked to Stan (Stan was NOT retired and was NOT in the party that got turned away, at least not in Flood's version, which is the primary source), Stan called Biggie, and there was no more racism in Musial and Biggie's. That's the story. Flood actually puts it into a context of explaining that, even as late as when Flood entered the majors, St. Louis still had a lot of Jim Crow left in it, which is true. The points that Curt was trying to make were 1) Musial was the opposite of a racist, and 2) STL was so Jim Crow a town that no black person had ever bothered to create any ruckus when turned away from Musial and Biggie's until Flood, who had some leverage, did. Stan responded immediately. Either Miller or Chass misinterpreted the story. I don't know who, but somewhere between Flood and Chass, the story got turned completely around. Given what I hear about Chass....

Alex (#57) - Thanks. I've never heard that one before, and today, I needed a "Stan Musial was great" story that I didn't already know. - Brock Hanke
   65. LargeBill Posted: January 20, 2013 at 02:13 AM (#4350824)
50. Dag Nabbit copies phones and shoots walls Posted: January 19, 2013 at 11:58 PM (#4350791)
Musial & Weaver.

Reminds me of Jim Henson & Sammy Davis Jr dying on the same day. I'm sure there are other pairs, but that's the one I remember.


The great writer C.S. Lewis died the day JFK was assassinated. Obviously, he didn't get the headlines he might have otherwise.
   66. Bob T Posted: January 20, 2013 at 02:56 AM (#4350826)
Aldous Huxley also passed away on November 22, 1963.
   67. Steve Treder Posted: January 20, 2013 at 02:57 AM (#4350827)
#64 Brock, you rock.
   68. LargeBill Posted: January 20, 2013 at 03:03 AM (#4350828)
# 66 Bob T., Thanks for the catch. I knew there was another somewhat famous person who was overshadowed by dying that day. Beer wiped out that memory.
   69. esseff Posted: January 20, 2013 at 03:20 AM (#4350829)
Maybe Musial's most impressive number was being married to the same woman for 72 years.

There must have been something in the Sportsman's Park water supply during the 1940s: Musial, Marion, Detwhiler and Freddy Schmidt all lived past 90. Red Schoendienst turns 90 in two weeks. And Harry Breechen lived till 89. There haven't been that many pennant/World Series winners with such longevity.


Even after losing Musial, Marion, Dom DiMaggio and Pesky in the last few years, we still have Schoendienst, Garagiola, Doerr and Ferriss as survivors from the '46 Series.




   70. bjhanke Posted: January 20, 2013 at 04:08 AM (#4350831)
Steve (#67) - Thank you very much! I don't always expect that response to my wordy meanderings through the Cardinals of my youth.... - Brock
   71. dejarouehg Posted: January 20, 2013 at 05:02 AM (#4350836)
Reminds me of Jim Henson & Sammy Davis Jr dying on the same day. I'm sure there are other pairs, but that's the one I remember.
Adams and Jefferson (on the 50th anniversary of Independence Day) is a little noteworthy.

One reason I was pleased Pujols went elsewhere was so Musial's records would remain at the top of the team's lists.
   72. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: January 20, 2013 at 07:34 AM (#4350839)
well..they always say it comes in threes--so--who's next?

That's what I told my wife today after I heard about Weaver and Musial ... every old-geezer HOFer should be hammering out that last will and testament just about now.

Reading this thread, I hope the 3rd rhymes with Curry Mass.
   73. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 20, 2013 at 08:23 AM (#4350841)
sympathies to his family, the cardinals, st louis and all baseball fans. just a tremendous person and player.

saw stan musial play several times. it was a privilege
   74. AndrewJ Posted: January 20, 2013 at 09:00 AM (#4350843)
And Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson died the same day, too.
   75. Non-Youkilidian Geometry Posted: January 20, 2013 at 09:18 AM (#4350844)
Death always sucks, but if ever there was a time to celebrate a life lived well, this is it. He rose to the pinnacle of his calling and lived to a ripe old age beloved by everyone* both for his achievements and his decency. We should all be so lucky.

I'm a few years too young to have seen him play, but poring over his numbers on BB-Ref I was blown away by what a hell of a ballplayer he was, and reading this thread has reminded me of what a good man he seems to have been. RIP.

*Murray Chass excepted.
   76. Dag is a salt water fish in fresh water world Posted: January 20, 2013 at 09:26 AM (#4350845)
Ed Reulbach & Ty Cobb died on the same day.
   77. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: January 20, 2013 at 09:44 AM (#4350846)
Michelangelo Antonioni and Ingmar Bergman died on the same day in 2007. Not baseball, but that's two Hall of Famers at the same time.

EDIT: It turns out that Bill Walsh died the same day, July 30, 2007. Another Hall of Famer, though a totally different Hall from Antonini and Bergman.

The Carl Erskine quote in #27 is one of the all-time greats.
   78. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: January 20, 2013 at 10:14 AM (#4350851)
#64 Brock, you rock.


This.


I don't always expect that response to my wordy meanderings through the Cardinals of my youth.... - Brock


More, more! I'm pretty neutral on the subject of the Cards, but they were very much a part of the baseball air that I breathed for most of my life from growing up in Arkansas, thanks not only to their near-omnipresence on the radio (I still remember, at age 10 or so, circa 1970, marveling at hearing the announcer -- Jack Buck, most likely -- pronounce the 2B's name as Hoo-lee-un Hah-vee-air, since common sense made me think of him as Jewel-yun Jay-vyur) but also to the fact that the Travelers in Little Rock were St. Louis' AA team till I was past 40.

   79. OCF Posted: January 20, 2013 at 10:34 AM (#4350855)
pronounce the 2B's name as Hoo-lee-un Hah-vee-air, since common sense made me think of him as Jewel-yun Jay-vyur)

Of course, Stan Javier (born in 1964) was named in honor of Musial.
   80. Tom Nawrocki Posted: January 20, 2013 at 10:47 AM (#4350861)
Orson Welles and Yul Brynner died on the same day. I was an intern at a newspaper then, and we put them both on the front page.
   81. Morty Causa Posted: January 20, 2013 at 10:49 AM (#4350862)
I like this tribute to Stan (and Stan's mother) by Ted Williams. It was at the 1960 World Series.

...[W]e were in Pittsburgh, sitting in a box seat near the field, and a woman in the next box reached over with a program, and said, "Excuse me, Ted, would you mind signing this?" "Certainly," without looking up.
"You know," she said, you're one of my favorite players."
"Oh, is that right?"
"Yes, I'm Stan Musial's mother."
I told her she ought to be signing my program.
   82. AndrewJ Posted: January 20, 2013 at 11:59 AM (#4350893)
A big recent three-fer was March 27, 2002: Dudley Moore, Billy Wilder and Milton Berle.
   83. Joey B. Posted: January 20, 2013 at 12:00 PM (#4350894)
Rest in peace, Mr. Musial. You were a class act all the way, the antithesis of so many of the sociopathic reprobates we have to put up with in sports today.
   84. Bourbon Samurai Posted: January 20, 2013 at 12:12 PM (#4350900)
Some great stuff in this thread. RIP to Stan.
   85. cardsfanboy Posted: January 20, 2013 at 01:08 PM (#4350925)
RIP Stan...Today is going to be an emotional day...doing a memorial for my mom today, then going to the St Louis chapter of the BBWAA baseball writers dinner. Hopefully the people doing the dinner have come up with something for Stan.
   86. Balkroth Posted: January 20, 2013 at 02:16 PM (#4350961)
Thanks for the stories and experiences posted in here, some really great stuff.

They've had some nice documentaries and other videos going last night on the local stations in town, and it's been fun watching the footage.

I hope you're having fun hitting triples again wherever you are Stan.
   87. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 20, 2013 at 02:30 PM (#4350966)
Stan Musial was my dad's age and shared a birthday with my daughter (as well as Troy Aikman and Earl Monroe, in addition to Ken Griffey, Jr as previously noted).

I always enjoyed Bob Prince's line: "It's ridiculous that we are gathered here tonight to honor a man who made more than 7,000 outs."

RIP
   88. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 20, 2013 at 02:32 PM (#4350968)
Musial's career was so long, he started 5 years before Jackie Robinson broke the colour barrier, and then retired a year after Jackie Robinson had made the hall of fame.
   89. just plain joe Posted: January 20, 2013 at 03:13 PM (#4350985)
pronounce the 2B's name as Hoo-lee-un Hah-vee-air, since common sense made me think of him as Jewel-yun Jay-vyur)


I can remember hearing Harry Caray (as the Cardinals announcer) prounounce it as "Jewel-yun Javer" on more than one occasion. Thanks to growing up the son and grandson of Cardinals fans I got to see Musial play several times, towards the end of his career. I have a memory of Stan hitting a homer in Sportsman's Park to beat the Pirates (I think), about 1960 or 1961. Stan Musial embodies all that is good about sports, and life in general. He will be missed. RIP Stan.
   90. bjhanke Posted: January 20, 2013 at 06:05 PM (#4351098)
RE: Julian Javier -

Jack Buck was somewhere near to fluent in Spanish, and tended to get names right that other announcers (especially Harry Caray) could not do. I'm not close to fluent any more, but Spanish is a VERY logical language, and absolutely rigid regarding the pronunciation of individual letters (regional dialects aside). "a" is always - and I mean ALWAYS - pronounced like the "a" in "father." "e" is pronounced like the "a" in "mate." "i" is pronounced like the "ee" in "feed." "o" is pronounced like the "o" in "slow." "u" is pronounced like the "u" in "mute." "y" is pronounced just like "i" is. The consonants also only have one pronunciation, again excepting regional dialects (in much of Spain itself, "d" is pronounced like we would pronounce "th"). As it happens, "j" is pronounced like the "h" in "hat."

So, it's "WHO lee ahn" "hah vee AIR", where capitalization means that this is the syllable you emphasize. Actually, "julian" should have an accent mark on the "an" at the end. In Spanish, you emphasize the last syllable if the word ends with anything EXCEPT a vowel, "n" or "s". So, it should be "ja vi ER", which it is. If the word does end with a vowel, "n" or "s" then the emphasis goes on the second-to-last syllable, so it should be "who LEE an". But you've all seen those little accent marks on Spanish words. Those are there when the word has an off-rule emphasis. "julian" should, and probably did, centuries ago, have an accent mark over the "a" at the end, to emphasize that it's "who lee AHN" or "WHO lee ahn", but not "who LEE ahn." The accent mark, BTW, goes on the vowel of the syllable to emphasize, never on the consonant.

One more thing about Spanish - there's another mark, like a wavy line, that you will sometimes see, usually over an "n." It's called a "tilde", which is pronounced "TEEL day."That means to add a "yuh" sound at the end of the letter. So, the word "ano", which means "year", has one of those tildes on top of the "n" (I don't know how to get that to print here on the site). The word is pronounced "AHN yoh." Note that the emphasis is on the second-to-last syllable, because the word ends with a vowel.

And finally, there is the override rule for names. If you ask a player with a Spanish name how to pronounce it, and he gives you a pronunciation that doesn't fit the rules above, use his. It is, after all, his family name, and has probably been Anglicized by his family living in the U. S. for some time. I got to work with the actress Morena Baccarin (Firefly), whose name is obviously Spanish. Not wanting to mispronounce her name all day, I asked whether it was "bah car EEN" or "bah CAR een." She laughed and said it's "BACK are in." Her family has been in Southern California for some time. - Brock
   91. AndrewJ Posted: January 20, 2013 at 06:21 PM (#4351132)
well..they always say it comes in threes--so--who's next?

U of Miami coaching legend Ron Fraser died today, per Wikipedia.
   92. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 20, 2013 at 06:21 PM (#4351133)
So, it's "WHO lee ahn" "hah vee AIR", where capitalization means that this is the syllable you emphasize.


Having not even had high school Spanish, that's the part that throws me. I want to say "HAH vee air."
   93. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: January 20, 2013 at 06:22 PM (#4351135)
Brock, I had to look up Morena Baccarin, since I had never heard of her. Don't let Brett Musberger broadcast a game where she's in attendance. Anyway her IMDB biography has her born in Rio to an Italian journalist father of the same last name. That might be another reason that her name does not conform to the Spanish rules. :)
   94. esseff Posted: January 20, 2013 at 06:42 PM (#4351174)
My recollection is that Javier was often just "Hoolie" to Caray. In particular, I remember this walk-off as the two-time defending NL champion Cardinals were trying to mount a late-season charge. Caray just bellowed -- half-yelling, half-singing -- "The Cardinals are coming! Hoolie, Hoolie, Hoolie! The Cardinals are coming! Hoolie, Hoolie, Hoolie!"
   95. Howie Menckel Posted: January 20, 2013 at 09:36 PM (#4351439)

The Mets announcers always called him "WHO lee ahn HAH vee air."

Just like everyone except pedantic Jon Miller calls him Carlos BEL-trahn.

Miller calls him Carlos bel-TRAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHN, as if showing off. lame.

   96. bjhanke Posted: January 20, 2013 at 10:19 PM (#4351522)
Howie - BEL-trahn is correct, unless there's an accent mark in there. The word ends in an "n."

Edmundo - Very interesting. Thank you. Don't tell Firefly fans, or Joss Whedon fans in general, that you don't know who she is. They think she's God. She was just giving me the short version. Rio, being in Brazil, has Portuguese as it's "official" language, but Portuguese is so close to Spanish that, back when I was close to fluent in Spanish, I could follow Portuguese (I was able to follow the Brazilian classic movie Black Orpheus, without subtitles.) Italian isn't a whole lot further away. I will admit to a little embarrassment at taking her Portuguese (or Italian) name as being "obviously" Spanish. Part of it was that "morena" is a word in Spanish - it means "brunette," if I remember right. Probably means the same thing in Portuguese and Italian.

The Met announcers aren't really doing much violence. They're taking a three-syllable word whose emphasis should be on the last syllable, and moving it to the first. That's not a big deal. Moving it to the second syllable would be wrong. That's what Caray could never remember. - Brock
   97. Jittery McFrog Posted: January 21, 2013 at 04:57 AM (#4351654)
R.I.P. Mr. Musial.

For the died on the same day list: JFK, CS Lewis, and Aldous Huxley.
   98. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: January 21, 2013 at 10:13 AM (#4351680)
Brock --

Impressive command of languages. Me, I took Intermediate French (having taken the equivalent of Elementary in high school) & Elementary Spanish the same semester(s?) in college. Made A's, but it didn't do much for my comprehension of either later on. And the fact that my gf/first wife was a Spanish major (for no apparent reason) proved that osmosis doesn't work.
   99. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: January 21, 2013 at 11:51 AM (#4351726)
Agree with [98] about Brock. I had French in HS, after having learned basic pronunciation from a neighbor who held a handful of French classes for my sisters and me when I was around 7. He was about 60 at the time, his aunt and mother who lived with him both couldn't speak English. In HS, I was taught by a Polish native, Fr. Soczowka, who was the source of my internet moniker. "Edmundo, wake up, Edmundo" in his sing-songy Polish-accented voice. We had no language lab, so when we went on a trip in the summer after junior year, we could not converse with the locals. We could read signs, menus, what have you, but couldn't understand anything that anyone tried to tell usother than individual words. I struggled with college French (I took 3 semesters foolishly), mainly in the conversational aspects.
   100. bjhanke Posted: January 21, 2013 at 01:04 PM (#4351769)
Gentlemen (mongoose and Edmundo), I bow to you. I am helpless before the collection of silent and mispronounced letters that is French. I actually know two people who majored in French in college, and I tease them about it - that it has neither spelling nor pronunciation. The best it can do for rules is what I call the "principle of the missing vowel." If you see a string of consecutive vowels, it will be pronounced like one of the ones that is missing. So, "ois" is pronounced like a broad "a", while "eau" is pronounced as a long "o." They think this silliness is funny, but they will also admit that there is a core of truth to it. The only reason this ever comes up at all has to do with the SCA, a Medieval stick fighting organization (wooden swords, real metal armor, so we don't all go to the hospital twice a year). The Medieval part requires you to invent a new "persona", someone who might have lived during the Middle Ages. These names have to be registered, so we don't have three guys with the same name or something. Anyway, some people choose personas with French names, and I got involved in the administrative process for this, which was the first time I had ever had to deal with a French word that isn't almost English, it's been used for so long. I always desperately need help for the French ones. I bow to those who can actually deal with French.

Also, the ability to see that Spanish, Italian and Portuguese are very very close to each other is SO obvious and thoroughgoing that there's no "command of languages" involved. All you need is any one of the three, and they are all VERY logical with few rules, but rules that they do follow all the time. Now, realizing that French, too, is a "Romance" Language", THAT would take a command of languages. - Brock
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