Skip to content

Stan Musial’s greatness undiminished by time

Jan 19, 2013, 8:28 PM EDT

Stan Musial

Stan Musial’s name doesn’t dot the record books anywhere near as frequently as those of Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds. Still, for consistent greatness, perhaps no one matched Stan the Man, who passed away Saturday at age 92.

– Excluding his one-year absence due to military service in 1945, Musial, who spent his entire career with the Cardinals, hit .310 or better every year from 1942 to 1958. That’s age 21 to age 37. He qualified for the NL batting title all 16 of those seasons, finishing first seven times, second twice, third four times, fourth twice and fifth once. He also finished third in 1962 at age 41.

– In addition to his seven batting titles, he led the NL in OBP six times, in slugging six times and in OPS seven times.

– He led the league in runs scored five times, hits six times, doubles eight times, triples five times, RBI twice, walks once and games played five times.

– He did all this while never striking out more than 46 times in a season. He finished his career with 1,599 walks and just 696 strikeouts.

– Musial played in 24 All-Star Games (in 20 seasons), tying Willie Mays for the most of all-time.

– Even 50 years after his retirement, Musial ranks 2nd all-time in total bases (6,134), 4th all-time in hits (3.630), 30th in average (.331), 22nd in OBP (.417), 19th in slugging (.559), 13th in OPS (.976), ninth in runs (1,959), sixth in RBI (1,951), third in doubles (725), 19th in triples (177), 28th in homers (475) and 13th in walks.

– Advanced stats: Musial ranks 12th all-time in Baseball-Reference’s WAR, ninth among position players. He’s third in runs created (2,562) and his OPS+ of 159 ranks 15th.

– Only Barry Bonds, with seven MVPs, has been more successful in the MVP balloting. Musial is one of eight players with three MVPs, and he has four second-place finishes to go along with them.

– Musial wasn’t particularly productive in the World Series, but his Cardinals teams won three of the four in which he played. He hit .256/.347/.395 with one homers and eight RBI in his 23 postseason games.

Musial ended up playing 21 full seasons, plus his 12 games as a 20-year-old in 1941. Never once did he finish with an OPS+ under 100. He ranked among the NL’s best hitters at both 21 and 41. He hit .300 18 times. Only Aaron, with 15, had more seasons with 300 total bases than Musial’s 13. Only Bonds, Ruth and Ted Williams, with 18 each, had more seasons with .900 OPSs than Musial’s 17.

Musial may have missed some milestones in finishing with 475 homers and 1,951 RBI, but his status as one of baseball’s very best hitters is cemented. The awesome nickname probably doesn’t hurt.

Latest Posts
  1. The Mets continue to monitor the market for left-handed relievers

    Mar 26, 2015, 9:50 PM EDT

    mets logo

    The Mets are keeping an eye on the Dodgers and Rockies as they look to replace Josh Edgin.

  2. 2015 Preview: Chicago Cubs

    Mar 26, 2015, 9:10 PM EDT

    kris bryant Getty Images

    Are they ready to contend?

  3. New White Sox closer David Robertson is not worried about forearm soreness

    Mar 26, 2015, 8:29 PM EDT

    David Robertson Getty Getty Images

    Robertson signed a four-year, $46 million deal with the White Sox over the winter to be their new closer.

  4. Unsigned 2014 No. 1 overall pick Brady Aiken undergoes Tommy John surgery

    Mar 26, 2015, 7:31 PM EDT

    Brady Aiken

    After failing to reach an agreement with the Astros last year, unsigned No. 1 overall pick Brady Aiken underwent Tommy John surgery.

  5. Rangers name Yovani Gallardo as their Opening Day starter

    Mar 26, 2015, 6:25 PM EDT

    Yovani Gallardo AP AP

    It will be Gallardo’s sixth straight Opening Day start and first as a member of the Rangers.

  6. Scott Boras is on FIRE

    Mar 26, 2015, 5:32 PM EDT

    Scott Boras AP AP

    Even after all of these years, baseball’s preeminent B.S. shoveler remains on top of his game.

  7. Legal filing shows that the Mets cut back security at Citi Field over the past five years

    Mar 26, 2015, 4:07 PM EDT

    Apple Citi Field

    Which doesn’t mean that Citi Field has gotten less safe. It does mean, however, that the Mets will have a much harder job convincing people of that.

  8. Yankees release reliever Jared Burton

    Mar 26, 2015, 3:45 PM EDT

    Jared Burton Getty Getty Images

    Burton had a 4.36 ERA and 46/25 K/BB ratio in 64 innings for the Twins last season.

  9. Chris Archer is the Rays’ replacement Opening Day starter

    Mar 26, 2015, 3:25 PM EDT

    Chris Archer AP

    Archer will be the first pitcher other than David Price or James Shields to start Opening Day for the Rays since 2007.

  10. 2015 Preview: Seattle Mariners

    Mar 26, 2015, 2:51 PM EDT

    Felix Hernandez Getty Images

    The pitching is great and the offense should be better. But is better good enough?

  11. The two most popular teams in Florida: the Braves and the Yankees

    Mar 26, 2015, 1:30 PM EDT

    Texas Rangers v Tampa Bay Rays - Game 3

    The Rays and Marlins have some challenges a lot of teams don’t.

  12. It’s not just about Kris Bryant: let’s fix the option rules, too.

    Mar 26, 2015, 12:55 PM EDT

    Darin Ruf Darin Ruf

    We shouldn’t forget about the 28- and 29-year-olds getting sent down, too.

  13. Indians send top prospect Francisco Lindor to Triple-A

    Mar 26, 2015, 12:33 PM EDT

    Francisco Lindor AP

    Baseball America, MLB.com, and Baseball Prospectus all ranked Lindor as a top-10 overall prospect this year.

  14. John Buck announces his retirement after 11 seasons

    Mar 26, 2015, 11:50 AM EDT

    John Buck Getty Images

    Buck was trying to win a job with the Braves on a minor-league contract.

  15. Michael Saunders will not be ready for Opening Day

    Mar 26, 2015, 11:19 AM EDT

    Michael Saunders AP

    Saunders was acquired from the Mariners in exchange for J.A. Happ in December and will be the Blue Jays’ starting left fielder once he’s healthy.

  16. Major League players are fleeing Venezuela

    Mar 26, 2015, 11:04 AM EDT

    venezuelan flag

    The country with the world’s highest murder rate is no longer a safe offseason home for many Venezuelan natives.

  17. Blue Jays demote former All-Star Steve Delabar to Triple-A

    Mar 26, 2015, 10:47 AM EDT

    Munenori Kawasaki; Esmil Rogers; Steve Delabar AP

    Delabar was an All-Star in 2013 and now he’s headed to the minors.

  18. Taijuan Walker has thrown 18 scoreless innings this spring

    Mar 26, 2015, 10:15 AM EDT

    taijuan walker getty Getty Images

    Presumably he’s done enough to get the job.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. H. Olivera (4369)
  2. S. Souza (3834)
  3. K. Bryant (3784)
  4. H. Ryu (3724)
  5. J. Fernandez (3687)
  1. M. Fiers (3664)
  2. Y. Tomas (3506)
  3. J. Kipnis (3502)
  4. A. Cobb (3317)
  5. R. Castillo (3280)