Tag Archives: medal of freedom

Stan Musial 2012 Topps Heritage “Flashbacks ’63” – The Man Leaves ‘Em Wanting More

Stan Musial 2012 Topps Heritage “Flashbacks ’63” – The Man Leaves ‘Em Wanting More

Wow, what a great looking baseball card!

Everything about this card takes you right back to Musial’s era.  From the image to the text and font size to the basic graphic design – It feels like the 1960’s!

But, this card was issued in 2012 – and that it what makes a set like Topps Heritage a hit with collectors!!!

This card honors the final at-bat of Musial’s historic career.  The result was a single and game-leading RBI that helped the Cardinals win 3-2 over the Cincinnati Reds. 




Stan Musial 2006 Topps Turkey Red

Stan Musial 2006 Topps Turkey Red

Another ‘Turkey Red’.

Another sweet looking baseball card.


Man this set is S-W-E-E-T!!!!

Today, I Begin To Pay Homage To Stan ‘The Man’ Musial On A Daily Basis, Weekends Excluded…

Today, I Begin To Pay Homage To Stan ‘The Man’ Musial On A Daily Basis, Weekends Excluded…

This is probably not what you think, but it could be…

Monday through Friday, I take my lunch breaks outside of my workplace.  It allows me a little time to step away from the hectic activity and stress that often accompanies the job.

99% of the time, I can be found in my car enjoying a snack and reading a book during these breaks.   They only last for 30 minutes, but I am usually able to knock out 12-15 pages of a book in that time.

Starting today, I am reading a new book.

And for me, this is just one of the many ways that I plan to educate myself about the Hall of Fame career of a true baseball legend, Stan Musial!!!

Musial Book

I cannot wait to get this one started.

Have a nice day everyone!!!

Baseball Card Show Purchase #3 – Lot Of Two Stan Musial 2011 Topps ’60 Years Of Topps’ – ‘The Lost Cards’

Baseball Card Show Purchase #3 – Lot Of Two Stan Musial 2011 Topps ’60 Years Of Topps’ – ‘The Lost Cards’

One of my unwritten goals as I plow through bargain bins of baseball cards is to score as many cards of Stan Musial as I can.

At the show, I found four cards in the dime boxes.  Of the four, I already had two of them in my collection so I left them there and rescued the others.

Here they are:


Both cards come from the 2011 Topps ’60 Years Of Topps’ set.  On the left is the 1955 Topps re-print and on the right is the 1957 version.

Love them both!!  And I love the price as well – just one dime each!!

Stan Musial 2010 Topps ‘Logo Man’

Stan Musial 2010 Topps ‘Logo Man’

I’m still scooping up cards of Stan Musial as I come across them.

This is just my second ‘Topps Logo Man’ card from the 2010 Topps baseball card set.  The first card I obtained from the set was of Andre Dawson ( surprised?) and now this one:


The card is sharp. 

I like the ‘Logo Man’ theme, but for this card of Musial, I find the logo to be just a tad too big.  Maybe if the card featured an action shot of Musial versus a posed portrait it would be better…

Still, a great addition to my collection!  RIP, Stan.

Stan Musial 2006 Fleer ‘Greats Of The Game’

Stan Musial 2006 Fleer ‘Greats Of The Game’

The name Stan Musial and the phrase ‘Greats Of The Game’ are a perfect blend.

And this card does a fantastic job of honoring ‘Stan The Man’ with its vintage photo, great color, and rich framing.

Have a look:


I have long been a fan of this set, and I have a lot of cards from it of Hall of Fame players.

But, with this new addition of the Musial card, I have to say that this is the best looking one of the lot!


Baseball Card Show Purchase #1 – Lot Of 4 Modern Stan Musial Baseball Cards

Baseball Card Show Purchase #1 – Lot Of 4 Modern Stan Musial Baseball Cards

I have a very basic approach when I hit the bargain bins at the card show. 

‘Take it all in, and pull what you like’.

Now, it is very easy to do that when each card in the bargain bin is selling for just a dime per card.  If this was a $5.00 bin, I would have a different approach altogether.

But, with the low price of just ten cents, I let my reservations stay in the background and simply pull what either looks neat or would make a nice addition to my collection.

And when I stumbled on my first card of Stan Musial in the bin, I knew right then that I would grab every card of ‘The Man’ that I found.

In total, I found four – costing me just forty cents.


Of the group, my favorite is the one in the upper right, from the 2011 ’60 Years Of Topps’ set.  It is a reprint of Musial’s 1953 Topps card.

Rest In Peace, Hall Of Famer & Cardinals Legend Stan Musial

Rest In Peace, Hall Of Famer & Cardinals Legend Stan Musial

From The Associated Press

Stan Musial, one of baseball’s greatest hitters and a Hall of Famer with the St. Louis Cardinals for more than two decades, died Saturday. He was 92.

Stan the Man won seven National League batting titles, was a three-time MVP and helped the Cardinals capture three World Series championships in the 1940s.

The Cardinals announced Musial’s death in a news release. They said he died Saturday evening at his home in Ladue surrounded by family. The team said Musial’s son-in-law, Dave Edmonds, informed the club of Musial’s death.

Musial was so revered in St. Louis, two statues of him stand outside Busch Stadium. He spent his entire 22-year career with the Cardinals and made the All-Star team 24 times – baseball held two All-Star games each summer for a few seasons.

A pitcher in the low minors until he injured his arm, Musial turned to playing the outfield and first base. It was a stroke of luck for him, as he went on to hit .331 with 475 home runs before retiring in 1963.

Widely considered the greatest Cardinals player ever, the outfielder and first baseman was the first person in team history to have his number retired. Ol’ 6 probably was the most popular, too, especially after Albert Pujols skipped town.

At the suggestion of a pal, actor John Wayne, he carried around autographed cards of himself to give away. He enjoyed doing magic tricks for kids and was fond of pulling out a harmonica to entertain crowds with a favorite, ”The Wabash Cannonball.”

Humble, scandal-free, and eager to play every day, Musial struck a chord with fans throughout the Midwest and beyond. For much of his career, St. Louis was the most western outpost in the majors, and the Cardinals’ vast radio network spread word about him in all directions.

Farmers in the field and families on the porch would tune in, as did a future president – Bill Clinton recalled doing his homework listening to Musial’s exploits.

Musial’s public appearances dwindled in recent years, though he took part in the pregame festivities at Busch during the 2011 postseason as the Cardinals won the World Series. And he was at the White House in February 2011 when President Barack Obama presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor for contributions to society.

He certainly delivered at the plate.

Musial never struck out 50 times in a season. He led the NL in most every hitting category for at least one year, except homers. He hit a career-high 39 home runs in 1948, falling one short of winning the Triple Crown.

In all, Musial held 55 records when he retired in 1963. Fittingly, the accolades on his his bronze Hall plaque start off with this fact, rather than flowery prose: ”Holds many National League records …”

He played nearly until 43rd birthday, adding to his totals. He got a hit with his final swing, sending an RBI single past Cincinnati’s rookie second baseman – that was Pete Rose, who would break Musial’s league hit record of 3,630 some 18 years later.

Of those hits, Musial got exactly 1,815 at home and exactly 1,815 on the road. He also finished with 1,951 RBIs and scored 1,949 runs.

All that balance despite a most unorthodox left-handed stance. Legs and knees close together, he would cock the bat near his ear and twist his body away from the pitcher. When the ball came, he uncoiled.

Unusual, that aspect of Musial.

Asked to describe the habits that kept him in baseball for so long, Musial once said: ”Get eight hours of sleep regularly. Keep your weight down, run a mile a day. If you must smoke, try light cigars. They cut down on inhaling.”

One last thing, he said: ”Make it a point to bat .300.”

As for how he did that, Musial offered a secret.

”I consciously memorized the speed at which every pitcher in the league threw his fastball, curve, and slider,” he said. ”Then, I’d pick up the speed of the ball in the first 30 feet of its flight and knew how it would move once it has crossed the plate.”

It worked pretty well, considering Musial began his baseball career as a pitcher in the low minors. And by his account, as he said during his induction speech in Cooperstown, an injury had left him as a ”dead, left-handed pitcher just out of Class D.”

Hoping to still reach the majors, he turned toward another position. It was just what he needed.

Musial made his major league debut late in 1941, the season that Ted Williams batted .406 for the Boston Red Sox and Joe DiMaggio hit in a record 56 straight games for the New York Yankees.

Musial never expressed regret or remorse that he didn’t attract more attention than the cool DiMaggio or prickly Williams. Fact is, Musial was plenty familiar in every place he played.

Few could bring themselves to boo baseball’s nicest superstar, not even the Brooklyn Dodgers crowds that helped give him his nickname, a sign of weary respect for his .359 batting average at Ebbets Field.

Many, many years before any sports fans yelled ”You’re the man!” at their favorite athletes, Stan was indeed the Man.

Dodgers pitcher Preacher Roe once joked about how to handle Musial: ”I throw him four wide ones and then I try to pick him off first base.”

Brooklynites had another reason to think well of Musial: Unlike Enos Slaughter and other Cardinal teammates, he was supportive when the Dodgers’ Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier in 1947. Bob Gibson, who started out with the Cardinals in the late 1950s, would recall how Musial had helped established a warm atmosphere between blacks and whites on the team.

Like DiMaggio and Williams, Musial embodied a time when the greats stayed with one team. He joined the Cardinals during the last remnants of the Gas House Gang and stayed in St. Louis until Gibson and Curt Flood ushered in a new era of greatness.

The only year Musial missed with the Cardinals was 1945, when he was in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He was based in Pearl Harbor, assigned to a unit that helped with ship repair.

Before and after his military service, he was a star hitter.

Musial was the NL MVP in 1943, 1946 and 1948, and was runner-up four other years. He enjoyed a career remarkably free of slumps, controversies or rivalries.

The Cardinals were dominant early in Musial’s career. They beat DiMaggio and the Yankees in the 1942 World Series, lost to the Yankees the next year and defeated the St. Louis Browns in 1944. In 1946, the Cardinals beat Williams and the visiting Red Sox in Game 7 at Sportsman’s Park.

Musial, mostly a left fielder then, starred with Terry Moore in center and Slaughter, another future Hall of Famer, in right, making up one of baseball’s greatest outfields. Later on, Musial would switch between the outfield and first base.

Musial never played on another pennant winner after 1946. Yet even after the likes of Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays and Hank Aaron came to the majors, Musial remained among baseball’s best.

The original Musial statue outside the new Busch Stadium is a popular meeting place before games and carries this inscription: ”Here stands baseball’s perfect warrior. Here stands baseball’s perfect knight.”

”Everybody’s a Musial fan,” former Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog once said.

Musial gave the press little to write about beyond his grace and greatness on the field. He didn’t date movie stars, spike opponents or chew out reporters or umpires.

In 1958, he reached the 3,000-hit level and became the NL’s first $100,000-a-year player. Years earlier, he had turned down a huge offer to join the short-lived Mexican League. He never showed resentment over the multimillion dollar salaries of modern players. He thought they had more fun in his days.

”I enjoyed coming to the ballpark every day and I think we enjoyed the game,” Musial said in a 1991 Associated Press interview. ”We had a lot of train travel, so we had more time together. We socialized quite a bit and we’d go out after ball games.”

He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1969, his first year of eligibility.

”It was, you know, a dream come true,” Musial once said. ”I always wanted to be a ballplayer.”

After retiring as a player, Musial served for years in the Cardinals’ front office, including as general manager in 1967, when the Cardinals won the World Series.

In the 1970s, Musial occasionally played in Old-Timers’ Day games and could still line the ball to the wall. He was a fixture for decades at the Cooperstown induction ceremonies and also was a member of the Hall’s Veterans Committee. Often, after the Vets panel had voted, he’d pull out a harmonica conveniently located in his jacket pocket and lead the other members in a rendition of ”Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”

Into the 2000s, Musial would spend time with the Cardinals at spring training, thrilling veterans and rookies alike with his stories.

Ever ready, he performed the national anthem on his harmonica at least one opening day at Busch Stadium. Musial learned his music during overnight train trips in the 1940s and in the 1990s was a member of a trio known as ”Geriatric Jazz” and collaborated on a harmonica instructional book.

Stanley Frank Musial was born in Donora, Pa., on Nov. 21, 1920, son of a Polish immigrant steelworker. He began his minor league career straight out of high school, in June 1938, and soon after married Musial married high school sweetheart Lillian Labash, with whom he four children.

Musial fell in 1940 while trying to make a tough catch and hurt his left arm, damaging his pitching prospects. Encouraged by minor league manager Dickie Kerr to try playing outfield, he did so well in 1941 that the Cardinals moved him up to the majors in mid-September – and he racked up a .426 average during the final weeks of the season.

In his best year, 1948, he had four five-hit games, hit 39 home runs and batted .376, best in the National League. He also led his league that year in runs scored (135), hits (230), total bases (429), doubles (46), and triples (18).

In 1954, he set a major league record with five home runs in a doubleheader against the New York Giants. He hit .300 or better in 16 consecutive seasons and hit a record home runs in All-Star play, including a 12th-inning, game-winning shot in 1955.

In 1962, at age 41, he batted .330 and hit 19 home runs. In his final game, on Sept. 29, 1963, he had two hits at Busch Stadium against the Reds and the Cardinals retired his uniform number.

He was active in business, too. He served as a director of the St. Louis-based Southwest Bank. He was co-owner of a popular St. Louis steakhouse, ”Stan Musial and Biggie’s,” and a bowling alley with former teammate Joe Garagiola (leading to a bitter fallout that eventually got resolved). He later ran Stan the Man Inc., specializing in merchandise he autographed. Musial was known for handing out folded $1 bills.

A prominent Polish-American, he was a charter member of the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame and was warmly regarded by his ancestral country, which in 2000 dedicated Stan Musial Stadium in Kutno, Poland. Musial also was involved politically, campaigning for John F. Kennedy in 1960 and serving as Lyndon Johnson’s director of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness.

Musial’s versatility was immortalized in verse, by popular poet of the times Ogden Nash, who in ”The Tycoon” wrote of the Cardinals star and entrepreneur:

”And, between the slugging and the greeting,

To the bank for a directors’ meeting.

Yet no one grudges success to Stan,

Good citizen and family man,

Though I would love to have his job

One half tycoon, one half Ty Cobb.”

President Obama Awards Stan Musial With ‘Medal Of Freedom’

Musial receives high honor from President

‘A beloved pillar,’ Obama says while awarding Medal of Freedom

By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com
2/15/2011 5:28 PM ET

WASHINGTON — The baseball-playing son of a Polish immigrant who grew up in a small town just south of Pittsburgh, joined an artist, a painter, a poet, a financier, a cellist, a basketball star and a former U.S. president — among others — as recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Tuesday.

The nearly hour-long ceremony, during which Cardinals great Stan Musial certified his famous nickname, “The Man,” was presided over by a beaming President Barack Obama in a packed front room at the White House.

“This is one of the things that I most look forward to every year,” Obama said about the ceremony. “It’s a chance to meet with and more importantly honor some of the most extraordinary people in America and around the world.”

Musial, now 90, had to be helped to his chair among the 14 other recipients and remained seated as Obama fastened the medal around his neck. But he looked resplendent in his blazing Cardinals red jacket and a special tie gifted to him by the ballclub just for the occasion.

“Stan is a great ambassador to this game and a great American,” Bill DeWitt Jr., the team’s chairman and general partner, said after the ceremony. “He’s well-deserving of this honor. It was richly deserved.”

Musial played in St. Louis for his entire career of 22 years from 1941-63 interrupted by only one year so he could serve in the Navy during World War II. His 3,026 games with the same club are second only to the 3,308 games over 23 years Carl Yastrzemski played for the Red Sox.

Musial was the eighth baseball player, but only Cardinal to receive one of the highest honors awarded to civilians in the U.S. The others were Joe DiMaggio (1977), Jackie Robinson (1984), Ted Williams (1991), Roberto Clemente (2003), Hank Aaron (2005), Frank Robinson (2005) and Buck O’Neill (2006). Jackie Robinson, who shattered the Major League color barrier for good in 1947, also was a rare recipient of a Gold Medal awarded by a unanimous vote of both houses of Congress in 2005.

“He had a great career and this is a special guy,” Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Democrat from Missouri, said about Musial. “My very favorite Stan Musial quote? ‘If they throw a spitball at you, don’t complain. Just hit the dry side.'”

Musial was honored along with President George H. W. Bush, basketball’s Bill Russell, artist Jasper Johns, poet Maya Angelou, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis, financer Warren Buffet, Jean Kennedy Smith, labor leader John Sweeney, Dr. Thomas Emmett Little, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, environmentalist John. H. Adams, civil rights activist Sylvia Mendez and Holocaust survivor Gerda Weissmann Klein. Merkel was not in attendance, and Little, who was murdered last year in Afghanistan, was represented by his wife.

It was certainly an eclectic and heroic mix.

“President Kennedy once said, in a tribute to [poet] Robert Frost, that a nation is not only distinguished by the men and women they produce, but by the men and women they honor,” Obama said. “When you look at the men and women who are here today, it says something about who we are as a people. This year’s Medal of Freedom recipients reveal the best of who we are and who we aspire to be.”

And so, it was no trifling fact that a baseball player form Donora, Pa., was in that group.

Musial hit .331 with 3,630 hits (fourth best all-time time) and 1,951 RBIs (sixth best all-time. He hit 475 homers and almost certainly would’ve reached the 500-homer mark had he not missed the 1945 season serving in the Navy. A 24-time All-Star (including the two games each summer from 1959-62), he was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame his first time on the ballot in 1969.

But he was as special a person off the field as he was on it. Musial was chairman of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s President’s Council of Physical Fitness, and he was awarded the Polish government’s highest civilian honor — the Cavalier Cross of the Order of Merit — in 1999.

“His brilliance could come in blinding bursts,” Obama said. “He hit five homers in single day’s double header and won three World Series [1942, ’44 and ’46]. He was a first-ballot Hall of Famer, worthy of one of the greatest nicknames in sports: ‘Stan the Man.’ My grandfather was Stan, by the way. I used to call him the man, too. Stan Musial made that brilliance burn for two decades.”

The Cardinals helped promote Musial for the honor last season by starting a social-media campaign dubbed “Stand for Stan,” and thousands of Cardinals fans participated in the effort. The team held “Stan Day” at Busch Stadium this past Oct. 2, and 39,000 fans came out to pay tribute to the three-time Most Valuable Player and seven-time batting champion.

DeWitt said the promotion didn’t mean a wit. It was Musial himself who earned the honor christened by President Harry S. Truman in 1945 to honor veterans of service in World War II and re-established by Kennedy as one of the nation’s top civilian awards in 1963. The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration and it’s bestowed by Congress.

“That was part of our motivation — to bring recognition to Stan,” DeWitt said about the campaign. “I don’t know if that got it done. Maybe we got it jump-started, but I’m sure the President singled out Stan for who is and what he accomplished and would’ve honored him anyway.”