When we played the Dodgers in St. Louis, they had to come through our dugout, and our bat rack was right there where they had to walk. My bats kept disappearing, and I couldn’t figure it out. Turns out, Pee Wee Reese was stealing my bats. I found that out later, after we got out of baseball. He and Rube Walker stole my bats.
Baseball isn’t just the stats. As much as anything else, baseball is the style of Willie Mays, or the determination of Hank Aaron, or the endurance of a Mickey Mantle, the discipline of Carl Yastrzemski, the drive of Eddie Mathews, the reliability of a (Al) Kaline or a (Joe) Morgan, the grace of a (Joe) DiMaggio, the kindness of a Harmon Killebrew, and the class of Stan Musial, the courage of a Jackie Robinson, or the heroism of Lou Gehrig. My hope for the game is that these qualities will never be lost.
I consciously memorized the speed at which every pitcher in the league threw his fastball, curve, and slider; then, I’d pick up the speed of the ball in the first thirty feet of its flight and knew how it would move once it had crossed the plate.
On December 2, 1948, Cardinals outfielder Stan Musial was named the National League Most Valuable Player. Musial led the NL with a .376 batting average and 131 RBIs. He narrowly missed the Triple Crown, however, as his 39 home runs were one less than the totals by Johnny Mize and Ralph Kiner.
Stan Musial became the first player signed to a six-figure contract in National League history on January 29, 1958 when he signed a $100,000 deal with the Cardinals. Musial had been willing to accept less, in spite of winning his seventh batting title by hitting .351 in 1957. The Cardinals, however, felt that he deserved the contract, which represented Musial’s first raise in seven years.
On November 27, 1953, Roy Campanella was named the National League’s MVP for the second time. He finished the 1953 season with a .312 batting average, 41 home runs, and 142 RBIs. The Dodger catcher had also earned the award in 1951 and went on to win the honor again in 1955, joining Stan Musial as the NL’s second three-time recipient of the award.
Four years after his last game played on the field, Stan Musial accepted the position of general manager of the St. Louis Cardinals on January 23, 1967. He became the first GM to win the World Series in his first season in the position, but then proceeded to quit the job after only ten months.