This is going to be the first, since my hometown of St. Louis will host the Allstar game, about Stan the Man. I hope it will be a living tribute to him, cause at 88 years young he kind of desveres it.
That is a quote, "I am here to play baseball" from Stan Musial when he walked into the Cardinals clubhouse and his fellow teammates had all signed a petition to not take the field and play the Brooklyn Dodgers and Jackie Robinson, cause he was a black man.
If the story is to be believed, and it is being told here 24/7, he then told the mostly southern players on the Cardinals (he was from Pennsylvania) that he'd played with black kids his entire life growing up, why is it hard to play against them when you are being paid?
Stans line is .331 BA, 475 home runs, and almost 2,000 RBIs. I'd argue if he lived in NYC or LA he might be about the most popular baseball player ever. Oh and that line, that is factoring in when he was drafted and served in WWII. I am knee deep in two books on the man, but this from hisWikpedia page says it all for me.
At the time of his retirement, Musial was sixth all-time in home runs (475), despite never having led his league in the category. Musial's hit total was also divided precisely in two: he had 1,815 hits at home, and 1,815 on the road. Musial is one of only two players to hit five home runs in one day, accomplishing it in a doubleheader against the New York Giants in 1954. (Nate Colbert of the San Diego Padres matched the feat in 1972). In his September 1941 debut, Musial had two hits; after he got two hits in his final game, 22 years later, a St. Louis sportswriter jokingly wrote, "He hasn't improved at all."
Musial finished in the top ten for MVP voting 14 times, winning three awards (in 1943, 1946, and 1948), and coming in second four times (including from 1949–51). The left-handed hitter led the National League in batting average seven times and in on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and hits six times each. Musial only struck out more than 40 times in a season three times, two of them being his final two seasons; not until his final year did he strike out more times than he walked.
I hope to see Albert and Stan Allstar weekend .....