Monday, May 19, 2014

St. Louis Cardinals' Stan Musial Breaks National League Hit Record

On May 19, 1962, St. Louis Cardinals great and Hall of Famer Stan Musial breaks Honus Wagner's National League hit record with hit number 3,431.

Stan "The Man" Musial in the 1966 season.
Musial would finish his career with a .331 batting average with 3,630 hits, 475 home runs and 1,951 RBIs in 22 MLB seasons. One amazing feat that Musial accomplished was that he had just as many hits at-home as he did on the road, with 1,815 at home, and 1,815 on the road.
Musial played all 22 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals and was named an All-Star 24 times, including twice in 1959, 1960, 1961 and 1962 when the All-Star game was played twice, at the beginning of the season and at the traditional time half way through the season.
Musial was a three time World Series Champion with the Cardinals, 1942, 1944 and 1946. Musial missed out on the entire 1945 season after serving with the United States Navy.
Musial was also a three time National League MVP, winning the award in 1943, in 1946 he won the MVP after returning from Naval Duty and in 1948, when he won the MVP he finished just one home run shy of winning baseball's Triple Crown.
He was also a seven-time National League batting champion, including three consecutive years from 1950-1952.
In 1957 Musial received the Lou Gherig Memorial Award, which is given to the player who best exhibits the character and integrity of Lou Gehrig, both on the field and off it.
The St. Louis Cardinals retired Musial’s number six-jersey in 1963, after his retirement.
At the time of his retirement, Musial held or shared 17 major league records, 29 National League records, and 9 All-Star Game records.
In addition to overseeing businesses, such as a restaurant both before and after his playing career, Musial served as the Cardinals' general manager in 1967, winning the pennant and World Series, then quitting that position.
On August 4, 1968, a statue of Musial was erected outside of Busch Memorial Stadium on the northeast grounds of the St. Louis stadium.
The statue was moved from its original location to the west side of the new Busch Stadium for its first season in 2006, where it became a popular meeting place for generations of Cardinals fans.
Musial's statue is inscribed with a quote attributed to former baseball commissioner Ford Frick: "Here stands baseball's perfect warrior. Here stands baseball's perfect knight."
Stan Musial at Busch Stadium in St. Louis for Stan Musial Day in 2010.
He was elected the Cooperstown Baseball Hall of Fame in 1969 with 93.2 percent of the vote on the first ballot in which he appeared.
Musial was named to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team in 1999.
 In 2007, Musial received the Navy Memorial’s Lone Sailor Award, which honors Navy veterans who’ve excelled in civilian life.
In February 2011 President Barack Obama presented Musial with Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor that can be bestowed on a civilian in the United States.