“Here stands baseball’s perfect warrior. Here stands baseball’s perfect knight.”
—Inscription on Stan Musial statue outside the new Busch Stadium
Stan the Man
In the minds of sports fans everywhere, Stan Musial and the St. Louis Cardinals are forever linked. Musial started with the Cardinals as a pitcher, but in 1941, he was converted to an outfielder/first baseman because of an arm injury. His major league career, all with the Cardinals, stretched from 1941 to 1963.
His athletic awards, records and recognitions are extensive. Most Valuable Player in the National League (1943, 1946 and 1948) and Major League Player of the Year (1946 and 1956). He has played in more All-Star Games, 24, than any other player. He was voted Most Valuable Player by the Baseball Writers in 1946, Baseball’s Player of the Year by The Sporting News, 1946 and 1951, Sid Mercer Award by the New York Baseball Writers in 1947, Canasta Mountain Landis Memorial Plaque in 1948, Sports Illustrated named Musial their Sportsman of the Year in 1957 and he was named The Sporting News Player of the Decade for the years between 1946 and 1956. In 1968, Musial was awarded the Freedom Leadership Medal. He was named to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1969.
When he retired as an active player in 1963, Musial held 33 National League records, 19 of them were Major League records.