Bob Costas said, “All Musial represents is more than two decades of sustained excellence and complete decency as a human being.”
Stan “The Man” Musial was originally signed as a pitcher in 1938, brought up to the majors 3 years later after being converted to an outfielder. In 1943, or his second full season in the majors, Stan Musial was awarded the first of his 3 MVP awards. Culminating with a First Ballot Hall of Famer in 1969 and a member of the All Century Team.
Interesting tidbit, Musial’s nickname came from the Brooklyn Dodger fans, who, on June 23, 1946 chanted, “Here comes the man!” The man who routinely destroyed Dodger pitching or were they just proud of this talented player who missed the 1945 season serving in the Navy?
In 1960 Stan requested and accepted a $20,000.00 reduction in pay due to his poor physical and mental conditioning resulting in what he termed as a mediocre performance in 1959.
Table 1. Stan Musial 1959 Statistics
I am in no place to name names, but we all know mediocre players today who selfishly negotiate and renegotiate contracts without consideration for the fans much less respect for the game.
Again, “[a] complete decency as a human being,” who just happened to:
- Win 3 MVPs
- Hit 475 Homeruns
- Held a lifetime Batting Average of .331
- Have 3,630 Base Hits
- Win 7 Batting Titles
Are you humble enough to change positions just to break the line-up?
Are you humble enough to serve your country, recognizing that is what gives you the freedom to play the game you loved?
Are you humble enough to not let the greed factor get in the way and recognize it’s the fans giving you this opportunity?
One thing is for sure, we know Stanislaw was!
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