Under-Appreciated Baseball Superstar: 'Stan The Man'
One of the nicest superstars to ever play Major League baseball was Stan "The Man" Musial of the St. Louis Cardinals, the subject of this hour-long "SportsCentury" show on ESPN Classics.
I think it was Bob Costas who said here on this episode, "If Stan Musial had played his career in New York, he would have been bigger and better-known than Lou Gehrig." Musial was that good, but played in St. Louis, the furthest west there was in MLB until the late '50s so he didn't get the media attention a Yankee would get, let's say. He also never generated any controversies to draw attention to himself. He just quietly went out and banged the heck out of the baseball for 20 straight years. He finished with 1,815 hits at home and 1,815 hits on the road. Talk about consistency.
Musial also signed about 10 million autographs, was polite to all his fans and to the media and went about his business in a dignified way. He was, however, a very guarded man who resented the slightest invasion into his private life, not that there was much, if any, "dirt," to find but Stan was adamant is keeping a 100 percent pure image. Thus, he never talked to one of his biographers - who is interviewed in this show - because he refused to discuss one thing that happened before his marriage years ago. Like a woman scorned, Stan had a long memory.
Other that that, "The Man" was about as perfect a sports role model as you could ever hope to find and one of the greatest hitters (maybe top five all time!) who ever lived. This program is a nice tribute to him.
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