Stan Musial was the greatest player in Cardinals history and one of the best in the history of the game. Stan "The Man" played his entire 22-year career as an outfielder and first baseman for the Cardinals. He was selected to 24 All-Star games and is the franchise's career leader in virtually every batting category. As good a ballplayer Stan was, he was an even better man.
Born in Donora, Pennsylvania, Musial was originally signed by the Cardinals as a pitcher, but due to inconsistency and injury he was put in the outfield and ultimately slugged his way into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
A three-time National League Most Valuable Player, Musial's most amazing statistics came from his incredible consistency. He retired in 1963 with 3,630 career hits (most in the National League at the time). Exactly half, 1,815, were hit at home while the other half came on the road. He scored 1,949 runs, drove in 1,951 runs, batted over .300 for 16 straight seasons and captured seven National League batting titles.
Musial's uniform number (6) was retired in 1963 at the end of his playing career-one in which he was never thrown out of a game for arguing a call. Baseball Commissioner Ford C. Frick may have summed up Musial the best when he said the following words, which now adorn a statue of "The Man" outside Busch Stadium: "Here stands baseball's perfect warrior. Here stands baseball's perfect knight."
"He could have hit .300 with a fountain pen." - Joe Garagiola
"How good was Stan Musial? He was good enough to take your breath away." - Vin Scully
"I've had pretty good success with Stan by throwing him my best pitch and backing up third." - Carl Erskine
"Once Musial timed your fastball, your infielders were in jeopardy." - Warren Spahn
"For us, Stan embodies all that is good about the game of baseball and what it means to be a St. Louis Cardinal. Stan is a role model for players and fans alike, embodying the qualities of good sportsmanship, self-discipline, hard work, consistency, grace, humility and excellence." - The Manager, Coaches and Players of the 2010 St. Louis Cardinals
"Stan has been a true role model - exemplifying the humility, grace and generosity we so desperately need to see in our American sports heroes." - Bill DeWitt Jr.
"Stan remains, to this day, an icon, untarnished; a beloved pillar of the community; a gentlemen you'd want your kids to emulate." - President Barack Obama
"I love to play this game of baseball - I love putting on this uniform."