With Opening Day coming up
on Monday, it's appropriate to look back and reflect on our love for the Cardinals. And when it comes to the Cardinals, and the history of this great franchise, there's one name that stands out above all the others.
You might know him as the Man.
Our Card of the Week
this week comes to us courtesy of my uncle, who lives in West Plains
and sent over a scan of a few cards he had stashed away in his storage
unit. It is a 1961 Stan Musial
card by the Topps company.
I have to say, of all the baseball players and figures I have gotten to meet in my life (and that's a fair amount, largely due to my grandfather
I've never met Musial. Sadly, I think my time to do so may be running
out, as the health of our greatest baseball treasure hasn't been so
good for a couple of years now. Even Musial's appearances at Opening
Day, which used to be one of the highlights every year, have become few
and far between in recent years.
So while we have the chance, give a thought to the greatest Cardinal of
them all. The season only begins once a year; once it's under way,
there's precious little time for reflection anyhow.
, in his excellent book The Stark Truth: The Most Overrated and Underrated Players in Baseball History,
put Musial squarely in the underrated category, and I have to agree.
We hear the stories of how great a guy he was, and we've seen him play the harmonica a couple hundred times, and we've all read the quote from Ford Frick, the one about Musial being baseball's perfect knight. And lost in all of that folksy wisdom is the fact that Stan the Man was one of the five greatest left-handed hitters who ever lived.
Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, and Ted Williams were his equal at least, and probably a little better. And that's it.