Lifetime: 128.2 WAR / 1949 runs / 3630 hits / career BA .331 / 475 HR 1951 RBI / career .976 OPS (!!!!!) Stan "The Man" Musial broke out with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1941 as an outfielder. The lefty slugger was an immediate "hit" in the Cards lineup. Like many players of the time, his career was interrupted for military service in World War II. Upon his return, Musial picked up where he left off, hitting for average, power and helping the Cardinals generate runs.
Musial retired in 1963 and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1969. In 2016, ESPN ranked Stan as the 8th best player in the history of the game, one spot ahead of Mickey Mantle.
He won 7 batting titles, appeared in 24 All-Star Games, three World Series and won the MVP three times.
On and off the field, Musial has always been considered baseball's "perfect knight", a fan favorite who would shake every hand and sign every autograph at every turn.
Oddly, Musial has a somewhat underappreciated legacy in baseball lore. Many attribute that to his nice guy image, never seeking attention for his accomplishments and never staying in the news because of a lack of controversy surrounding him.
Whatever the reason, that has changed somewhat in recent years, as evidenced by the lofty ranking among baseball's greats bestowed by ESPN.
Musial died in 2013.
Pictured is an autographed photo of the Stan the Man statue, which is a famous landmark outside of Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Fans use it as a meeting point before entering the park and it's a popular spot for a picture as well.
Fun Fact: Musial had 3,630 lifetime hits, of which exactly half were hit on the road and half at home.
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