A Biography in 1,000 Players No. 9 Stan Musial (Number 3 Left Field)

I have a lot of outfielders in the top 10. Theoretically I should have more infielders and pitchers, but I believe these are the greatest players. Also, I did move a pitcher Walter Johnson up to number 10. The thing is I gave some bonus points for catchers, shortstops, and pitchers, so the outfielders in the top 10 just basically were excellent players who were great hitters.

Stan Musial was Mr. Nice Guy. It is hard to write a biography of him because there wasn’t much to write about. He had troubles with Joe Garagiola in a restaurant they owned together, and he said something condescending to Curt Flood during contract negotiations. Some said it is easy to be nice when you hit .330. However, two of the players listed above (Ty Cobb and Ted Williams) didn’t see it as being so easy.

They say he was a poor general manager. However, he didn’t like the paperwork, so he resigned after a year. The Cardinals won the World Series the year he was a General Manager, so he wasn’t too bad.

If you read an early tell all book Jim Bronson liked him. Bronson wrote a book called “The Long Season”. It was a tell all book, but if there is any controversy he complained about management and salary negotiations. It was really tame next to “Ball Four” by Jim Bouton. He talks about Stan who was not playing as much late in his career asking Jim to sit next to him during the games so he could have someone to talk to. Bronson wrote a follow-up book a couple years later called “The Pennant Race”. It was when he was with Cincinnati during their 1961 pennant drive. Both books are excellent.

Stan Musial accompanied writer James Michener on a trip to Italy and the Vatican where they met the Pope. I would also recommend this book not only about Michener’s friendship with Stan, but Michener is such a good writer.

Musial has one of the most unusual career records. He recorded 3,630 career hits, which is still 4th on the all-time list. He had 1,815 hits in his home park in St. Louis and 1,815 hits on the road. What a coincidence. It also shows he could hit anywhere.

Author James Michener and Petty Officer Stan Musial


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