Baseball legend Stan Musial passed away Saturday at the age of 92 (via a St. Louis Cardinals news release). The Hall of Famer spent his entire career (1941-1944, 1946-1963) with the St. Louis Cardinals. Following his retirement, he spent time in the Cardinals front office before retiring from the game altogether.
Following his retirement, Musial stayed very connected to the Cardinals organization. He's beloved by not only the St. Louis community, but the entire community of baseball fans. Musial leaves a legacy as one of the best baseball players in history. His list of accomplishments can be matched by very few.
Stan Musial won the NL batting title seven times throughout his career, in 1943, 1946, 1948, 1950, 1951, 1952 and 1957. The range of years in which Musial earned the title shows just how consistently dominant he was throughout his career.
Musial's career batting average of .331 doesn't fall within the top 10 of all time, as his last few seasons brought his average down. Musial finished five different seasons with a batting average over .350. His only seasons below .300 were four of the last five years of his career.
Stan Musial was selected to the All-Star team 24 times during his career. After his first two years, Musial was an All-Star in each season he played. There was no player more consistently dominant during Musial's major league career.
Musial's 24 appearances (some of which came in a time when MLB featured two All-Star games a year) are tied with Hank Aaron and Willie Mays for the most all-time. Musial's consistency was a big part of his greatness and why he is regarded as one of the best to ever swing the bat.
Stan Musial finished his career with 3,630 hits. As pointed out by ESPN's Trey Wingo, Musial had 1,815 hits at home and 1,815 hits on the road. The ridiculous number of hits throughout Musial's career puts him fourth on the all-time hits list. Pete Rose, Ty Cobb and Hank Aaron are the only players to have more hits than Musial.
While he ranked fourth in hits, Musial finished his career ninth in at-bats. That shows just how impressive Musial was with his at-bats. He finished his career with a great batting average of .331.
Stan Musial led the St. Louis Cardinals to three World Series titles during his long tenure. The Cardinals won the World Series in 1942, 1944 and 1946. The Cardinals hadn't won the World Series since 1934 before Musial helped lead them back to their former glory.
In addition to the three World Series championships, Musial led the Cardinals to the World Series in 1943, where they lost to the New York Yankees. He helped strengthen the Cardinals' history with his World Series accomplishments. By the time Musial had finished playing, the Cardinals had doubled their World Series titles with six.
In 2010, the Cardinals organization put together a campaign to get Musial recognized for his achievements and service. They were successful, and that year it was announced that Musial would receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the most prestigious for a citizen.
In 2011, President Barack Obama awarded the medal to Musial at a ceremony that recognized 14 others for their contributions to U.S. national security, world peace, culture or other endeavors.
Musial served in the U.S. Navy, engaged in ship repair duty at Pearl Harbor in 1945, a stint that caused him to miss the season.
The award recognizes both his on-field success and his great service to the St. Louis community.
According to the St. Louis Cardinals, President Obama said of Musial, “Stan remains to this day an icon untarnished, a beloved pillar of the community, a gentleman you’d want your kids to emulate.”