Saturday, January 19, 2013

Stan the Man

Stan Musial, who played 22 years for the St. Louis Cardinals died today. (Nevermind that I assumed he died years ago, it was just today and he was 92.)

Stan Musial was the reason I wanted to be left-handed all through my childhood. Stan the Man was left handed and his batting stance was so weird that I tried for years to emulate it. He crouched and had his legs close together and his arms near his body and when the pitch came he 'uncoiled' and hit it a mile.

I grew up watching him and Ted Williams on the Baseball game of the week with Dizzy Dean as the announcer. They were the two best left-handed hitters, in my mind, of all time.

Ted died years ago and had his body frozen to be thawed out when it would be possible to live again.

Stan was normal as hell--as normal as Ted was odd. Just a normal guy who could hit the hell out of a baseball.

Ted played 19 years (missing three years in the height of his talent by serving in WWII) Who knows what he would have done if he'd played those years.

Here were some of their records.

Ted       Stan         
19          22    years played
2292    3026   hits
521        475  home runs
1839    1951  Runs batted in

Stan had many more doubles (725) and triples (177) than Ted.

And they both played their whole careers for the same team (Cardinals and Red Sox), something very rare these days.

Stan the Man was a part of my childhood and one of purest hitters ever. He never struck out more than 50 times in any year. Good players today strike out 100 times and think nothing of it.

The Man could play.

I'm sorry I didn't realize he was still alive. I'm sorry he's dead.

We won't see his kind anytime soon....

'Course, if you don't like baseball, I've just wasted your time....

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.