Baseball’s Perfect Warrior

“Here stands baseball’s perfect warrior. Here stands baseball’s perfect knight.”

– Attributed to former Commissioner of Baseball, Ford Frick, and inscribed on the base of Stan Musial’s statue at Busch Memorial Stadium

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“Get eight hours of sleep regularly. Keep your weight down, run a mile a day. If you must smoke, try light cigars. They cut down on inhaling. Make it a point to bat .300.”

– Stan Musial, on his Baseball longevity

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This weekend Baseball, and it’s fans across the world, are mourning the passing of St. Louis Cardinal legend, Stanley Frank Musial, at the age of 92.

There’s nothing new that I can add here that hasn’t been written about or said about Musial before, far more intelligently and eloquently, and by far more gifted writers than me… So I won’t even try!

Instead I’ll leave it to others (and himself) to describe the greatness that was Stan ‘The Man’ Musial, and hope that that’s enough!

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1958 Topps Stan Musial 'All Star'

1958 Topps Stan Musial ‘All Star’

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“No man has ever been a perfect ballplayer. Stan Musial, however, is the closest to being perfect in the game today.”

– Ty Cobb, Life Magazine (1952)

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“Once Musial timed your fastball your infielders were in jeopardy.”

– Warren Spahn, LHP Milwaukee Braves

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“He used to take care of me at All-Star games, 24 of them. He was a true gentleman who understood the race thing and did all he could.”

– Willie Mays, LF New York/San Francisco Giants, describing Musial’s attitude to black ballplayers and integration

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1959 Topps Stan Musial

1959 Topps Stan Musial

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“Stan will be remembered in baseball annals as one of the pillars of our game. The mold broke with Stan. There will never be another like him.”

– Hall of Fame President, Jeff Idelson

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“How good was Stan Musial? He was good enough to take your breath away.”

– Vin Scully, Broadcaster

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“I throw him four wide ones then try to pick him off first base.”

– Preacher Roe, LHP Brooklyn Dodgers

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1960 Topps Stan Musial

1960 Topps Stan Musial

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“He didn’t hit a homer in his last at-bat; he hit a single. He didn’t hit in 56 straight games. He married his high school sweetheart and stayed married to her, never married a Marilyn Monroe. He didn’t play with the sheer joy and style that goes alongside Willie Mays’ name. None of those easy things are there to associate with Stan Musial. All Musial represents is more than two decades of sustained excellence and complete decency as a human being.”

– Bob Costas, Sportscaster in ESPN SportsCentury

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“I’ve had pretty good success with Stan by throwing him my best pitch and backing up third.”

– Carl Erskine, RHP Brooklyn Dodgers

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“There was never a day when I was as good as Joe DiMaggio at his best. Joe was the best, the very best I ever saw.”

– Stan Musial

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1961 Topps Stan Musial

1961 Topps Stan Musial

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“He could have hit .300 with a fountain pen.”

– Joe Garagiola, Catcher St. Louis Cardinals

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“Every time Stan came up they chanted, ‘Here comes the man!'”

– Leo Ward, Cardinals traveling secretary, on the reaction of Dodger fans when Musial came to the plate

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“I can’t think of any all-time great in any sport who gets left out of more who’s-the-greatest conversations than Stan Musial.”

– Jayson Stark, Sportswriter

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1962 Topps Stan Musial

1962 Topps Stan Musial

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“He missed tying for the top in homers by one rained out home run. If it had counted, he would have won the Triple Crown that year…and in addition have been the only player of this century to lead the league in runs, hits, double, triples, and slugging percentage. What a year!”

– Bob Broeg, Sportswriter, on Musial’s 1948 season

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“The bent knees and the crouch give him the appearance of a coiled spring, although most pitchers think of him as a coiled rattlesnake.”

– Tom Meany, Author

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“Nobody can be that good. Nobody.”

– Jimmy Wilson, Former Chicago Cubs Manager

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1963 Topps Stan Musial

1963 Topps Stan Musial

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RIP - Stanley Frank Musial, 1920-2013"Holds many National League Records..."

RIP – Stanley Frank Musial, 1920-2013
“Holds many National League Records…”

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3 thoughts on “Baseball’s Perfect Warrior

  1. I read that a few years back, Albert Pujols told the St Louis media to stop referring to him as “El Hombre”, saying that “There’s only one The Man in this town”. Musial is without a doubt one of the greatest of all time.

  2. Pingback: Old School: The Georgia Peach | The Wax Fantastic

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