Released to collectors July 31, 2013
Greatly loved and admired, Stan "The Man" stayed with the St. Louis Cardinals his whole baseball life,
and St. Louis stayed with Stan. Meek, powerful, gracious, and seemingly incorruptible. Where did they all go?
This hand-painted topical event cachet respectfully documents Stan Musial's last living day.
Stan “The Man” Musial, ranked at or near the top of baseball’s all time lists in almost every batting category. Topping the .300 mark 17 times and winning seven National League batting titles with his famed corkscrew stance and ringing line drives. A three-time MVP, he played in 24 All-Star games. He was nicknamed “The Man” by Dodgers fans for the havoc he wrought at Ebbets Field and was but one home run shy of capturing the National League Triple Crown in 1948. Born in Donora, Pennsylvania, November 21, 1920 as Stanislaus Franciszek Musial. His father was a Polish immigrant and his mother, the daughter immigrants from Czechoslovakia. His father so hated working in the mines of western Pennsylvania that he determined that his own children would never have to endure such miserable conditions to make a living. Fortunately for Stan he was an exceptional athlete who played both basketball and baseball equally well. His basketball skills seemed to promise a college scholarship, but he had his heart set on baseball. In 1937, at the age of 16, Stan was offered his first professional baseball contract. At first his father rejected the offer, wanting him to attend college. But with his mother’s intervention, his father eventually gave his approval and Stan signed with the St. Louis Cardinals organization. May 25, 1940, Stan married his high school sweetheart, Lillian Labash with whom he shared almost 72 years of marriage and 4 children. However, everything came crashing down on August 11, 1940, when Stan tripped in the outfield and fell heavily onto the point of his left shoulder. It was soon determined that Musial was finished as a pitcher and for a while Stan considered leaving baseball entirely because he could not support his family on his pay. But manager Dickie Kerr talked him out of it, and even took the Musials into his home to live for a while. To repay the debt, Stan bought Kerr a $20,000 home in Houston in 1958. Even though his throwing arm was still weak, his batting and base running skills got the attention of the Cardinal scouts, where it was obvious that Stan wasn’t a pitcher, he was an outfielder. Stan Musial came to the major leagues in 1941 at the age of 20 and played 22 seasons for the St. Louis Cardinals before retiring in 1963. During World War II Stan
So Long Stan Musial
January 19, 2013
St. Louis, MO 63155
ISSUE TOTAL SIZE
enlisted in the United States Navy from 1945-1946 and then rejoined the Cardinals upon his honorable discharge. In 1969, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame. He won seven National League hitting championships, was selected National League Player of the Year three times and The Sporting News Major League Player of the Year twice. Sports Illustrated named Musial its Sportsman of the Year in 1957 and The Sporting News honored him as Player of the Decade 1946-1956. He held major league records for most extra-base hits and total bases, but his biggest day at bat came during a doubleheader at Busch Stadium in May 1954 when he became the first baseball player in history to hit five home runs in one day. Add to Stan Musial’s performance record a well liked and respected persona, and you have a winning combination. He debunked the notion that good guys finish last. He respected the baseball public and was a positive influence on teammates by treating everyone equally, regardless of skin color or years of Major League experience. Mickey Mantle once said that Musial “was a better player than me because he was a better man than me.” After retirement in 1963, Stan became a Cardinal Vice President and served as the general manager in 1967 when he guided his team to a World Series championship. Can you image how honored the players were to have Stan Musial managing them? In 1968, the Cardinals honored Musial with a statue outside Busch Memorial Stadium along with a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame. There are also scholarships in his name at St. Louis University, where a ball field is named in his honor. Ironically, Stan said that if he had anything to do over, he would have gone to college. “I had a basketball scholarship offer, but I chose baseball because I always loved baseball. Of course, it worked out very well. But I tell these young people to really get an education. It’s very valuable these days. It’s very important.” However, he was grateful for his baseball career and wrote “I believe I played in the most exciting era of baseball, I saw the game change from day to night, from regional to national, from long train trips to short plane flights, from cabbage leaves under the cap in hot weather to air- conditioned dugouts…” So long Stan Musial.