Tuesday, September 17, 2013

September 17, 1941: Stan The Man Musial Makes His Major League Debut

On September 17, 1941, a 20 year old kid by the name of Stan Musial made his major league debut in the second game of a doubleheader against the Boston Braves at Sportsman's Park in St. Louis. The Cardinals had taken the first game by the score of 6-1 and were looking for a doubleheader sweep as they were in a heated pennant race with the league leading Dodgers. Musial, just called up from Rochester went 2 for 4 and put the Cards on the board with a two RBI double in the third inning. The Braves tied things up in the seventh after Cardinals second baseman Creepy Crespi committed and error that enabled Frank Demaree to reach first. Eddie Moore followed him with a triple that scored the first Braves run. Then Gene Moore plated the tying run with a single into right. With the score still knotted at 2 in the bottom of the ninth, Cardinals left fielder Estel Crabtree parked one in the seats to make Musial's debut a memorable one. Musial would play in 12 games with the Birds in '41, he showed he had what it took to be in the big leagues by carrying a .426 average over those 12 games. The Cardinals fell just 2 1/2 games short of winning the National League pennant but it was the beginning of one of the finest eras in Cardinals baseball, as The Man had arrived. He would go onto have one of the most storied careers in the history of the game. When he was first inked to a deal by the team in 1938, he was projected to be a pitcher, only to have arm problems change that course. It's a good thing those arm problems happened as he became the most prolific hitter in the history of the franchise and is at or near the top of many all time offensive categories, not only for the team but for all of major league baseball. Stan topped the .300 mark 17 times and won 7 batting titles with his famous corkscrew stance that produced 3,630 hits, 1,951 RBIs, and 475 home runs. Musial took the first of three MVP awards home in '43, then captured the other two in '46 and '48. In that MVP season of 1948, Musial fell just one home run short of capturing the triple crown. He helped lead the Cardinals to three World Series titles and appeared in a record 24 All Star games, that's a record he shares with Willie Mays and Hank Aaron. He earned his nickname "The Man" in '46 as he wreaked havoc on the Dodgers fans in Brooklyn, when they saw him strolling to the dish there was a collective "Uh oh. Here comes The Man.", as he was well on the way to becoming a legend. There is no athlete past or present that I admire more than Stan The Man Musial, he is one of the biggest reasons that I started this page and every time I get to bring you a Stan fact is a great day for me.

Check out the box score: http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/SLN/SLN194109172.shtml

This is an absolute great video that highlights Musial's career: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsouyeY60CU

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