Take a look at at Stan Musial’s batting stance. He’s not scaring anyone with that peek-a-boo nonsense. He looks like that one kid that we all had on our Little league team that didn’t want to be there, scared shitless that they’re going to get hit by the ball, never swinging at any pitches, and couldn’t catch a fly ball with a net. What Major League pitcher would worry about this guy? Turns out….they all did.
Take a look at Stan The Man’s baseball reference page and you’ll get a good look at what NL pitchers should have been worried about. He did it all, he did it consistently, he did it with a Little Leaguer’s stance, and a Little Leaguers joy and passion for the game. Something that today’s game seems to lack.
The one stat that jumps out at me is the fact that he received MVP votes in 18 different seasons, finishing in the top 10 an amazing 14 times. You only get that out of respect for your abilities on the field, respect for your abilities as a teammate, and as a person. Musial had that respect by the bucket full.
Ten years ago I had the opportunity to go to St. Louis on work related business. Even though it was early November I made sure I went to Busch Stadium to see the Stan Musial statue. I was all alone in front of an empty stadium looking up at this huge bronze statue, pissed that I didn’t have a camera, and pretty disappointed at how terrible this statue looked. It should have depicted Musial after his swing( Like a later statue of Musial did). This statue had no majesty, no power, no artistic energy or imagination. In my opinion, not a fitting memorial to a player and a man that deserved a fitting memorial.
Of course that didn’t stop me from casually surveying my surroundings, making sure no one was around, and then quickly climbing up the statue’s pedestal and smacking Stan Musial’s ass for a job well done.
RIP Stan The Man. I honor you as a ball player, as a teammate, a true Hall of Famer, and as man.