Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Stan - Truly The Man

Timing is everything and sometimes timing just stinks. This past weekend the "world of sports" was dominated
by Notre Dame LB Manti Te'o fictitious (or blow up doll) girl friend and Lance Armstrong's Oprah moments.
 Under those banner headlines, even on second and third pages of our sports pages did we find the sad news
of the passing of two baseball icons. Earl Weaver, the fiery and winning manager of the Baltimore Orioles was known
 for his big inning strategies and for having the foresight to move Cal Ripken Jr from third base to shortstop despite his tall lanky build.
 But Stan Musial was a treasure, truly one of the three or four greatest baseball players in the history of the game.
 It is a challenge to define greatness but the following Stan The Man numbers do the job:   

-1948 Musial was 1 HR short to lead the NL in batting, runs, hits, doubles, triples, homers, & RBI's. 
He lost a HR in an August rain out in Brooklyn
-Only Hank Aaron had more total bases than Musial.  According to Bill James's formula,
only the Babe and Bonds created more runs.
-Stan Musial (1942-1958)16 years of PRIME TIME (1945 - Military Service)Stan Musial becomes a starter in 1942.
      In the next 16 years he NEVER finished below 5th in the league in Batting Average Batting Champion -
      7 times, 2nd - 2 times, 3rd - 3 times, 4th - 3 times, 5th - 1 time
      Then, just for fun, at the age of 41, a year before retiring, he hit .330 (3rd in the League)

Batting Title Finish     
      1942 - .315 (3rd) (Leader: .330), 1943 - .357 (1st),1944 - .347 (2nd) (Leader: .357), 1945 - Military Service1946 - .365 (1st),
      1947 - .312 (5th) (Leader: .363), 1948 - .376 (1st),
      1949 - .338 (2nd) (Leader: .342), 1950 - .346 (1st), 1951 - .355 (1st), 1952 - .336 (1st)1953 - .337 (3rd) (Leader:.344)
      1954 - .330 (4th) (Leader: .345)1955 - .319 (3rd)

When one examines The Man's 22 years of baseball the numbers tell a story that belongs in a book occupied by only The Babe, Ted Williams
and...maybe that's all. In addition, Stan the Man was a jewel, a gentleman respected by all who knew him. So read and reread these numbers.
Go find a book and read more about Stanley Frank Musial, all you can get your hands on. You will better understand his greatness,
his historical mastery of the game of baseball. As you digest that, try and avoid being distracted by doped up bike riders and linebackers with fake girlfriends.

Cling to everything that was Stan Musial. e will not see another like him, maybe ever.
Stan was truly and always will be THE MAN.

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