Thursday, May 19, 2016

May 19, 1962, Musial Becomes The National League's All-Time Hit King

     On May 19, 1962, Stan "The Man" Musial surpassed Honus Wagner's National League hit record by picking up the 3,431st hit of his career during an 8-1 win over the Dodgers in Los Angeles. The historic single came in the ninth inning, as he removed and 0 for 4 collar by lining a Ron Perranoski curveball into right. Once Musial reached first base an enormous message flashed across the scoreboard that Musial was the new hit king in the National League. The Cardinals skipper Johnny Keane let Musial soak in moment, before removing him for a pinch runner. It was quite the moment indeed, as Stan's former teammate Wally Moon handed him the ball, with the crowd of 50,000 standing on their feet cheering the National League's all-time hits leader.

     Musial had been in a bit of a slump coming into the contest. Once he reached 3,429 hits he stalled a bit, going hitless in 15 at bats, before tying the record in San Fran on the 16th of May. He then continued to struggle at the dish, then finally punched it through on that night in Los Angeles. Musial would say "I never worked for two hits so hard in my life." He acknowledged the pressure got to him a bit, and was relieved the moment he had recorded the hit.

     The record set by Wagner had stood for nearly 45 years, as the man they called "The Flying Dutchman had recorded his last hit in September of 1917. As we sit here today, only Pete Rose, Ty Cobb, and Hank Aaron have recorded more hits than Stan Musial. The Man rapped out 3,630 hits over the course 22 seasons. 1,815 at home and 1,815 on the road; a perfect split for baseball's perfect knight.  His first hit came on September 17, 1941, and his last came on September 29, 1963. So many stories and accomplishments achieved in between those days, as Musial became one of the greatest players to step onto a diamond.

Check out the box score here:

No comments:

Post a Comment