Saturday, September 28, 2013

September 28, 1952: Stan The Man Pitches

On September 28, 1952, Stan The Man Musial made the only pitching appearance of his big league career in a 3-0 loss to the Cubs at Sportsman's Park. Musial came into the contest leading the batting race with a .336 average with Cubs right fielder Frank Baumholtz trailing him by ten points. Before the game began the manager of the Cardinals Eddie Stanky got permission to let Musial pitch to Baumholtz and that's exactly what happened in the first inning. With a runner on first, Stanky moved Harvey Haddix to right and right fielder Del Rice to center while Musial was brought into pitch to Baumholtz. Normally a left-handed hitter, Baumholtz decided he didn't want to pick up a cheap hit off of Musial so he hit right handed. On the first pitch the Cubs batter hit a shot toward third that was mishandled by Solly Hemus which put Baumholtz on with an error. After the at bat Musial returned to his normal position for the rest of the game, he went 1 for 3 on the day and finished with a .336 average which was 11 points better than Baumholtz. Musial said after the game that he was not proud of being a part of a box office circus, and being the ultimate professional he was, he protested in vain that Baumholtz should have been credited with a hit. The batting title for Musial was the fifth of his career and his second in a row. Musial along with Ferris Fain of the Philadelphia Athletics achieved something that hadn't been done in 38 years, both players had won a batting title in back-to back seasons which hadn't been accomplished in both leagues since Detroit's Ty Cobb and Brooklyn's Jake Daubert won back-to-back batting titles in 1913 and 1914.

Here's the box score:

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