No last name necessary. A slew of batting titles. Corkscrew stance. Humble. A gentleman. All-around good guy. Stan the Man. Stanley Frank Musial, the St. Louis Cardinals star who was one of the greatest players in the history of baseball, died yesterday. He was 92. "I never heard anybody say a bad word about him—ever," Willie Mays said in a statement released by the Hall of Fame. "Stan will be remembered in baseball annals as one of the pillars of our game," Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson said. "The mold broke with Stan. There will never be another like him."
Musial, the Midwest icon with too many batting records to fit on his Hall of Fame plaque, was so revered in St. Louis that two statues in his honor stand outside Busch Stadium. He was one of baseball's greatest hitters, every bit the equal of Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio. Musial won seven National League batting crowns, was a three-time MVP and helped the Cardinals capture three World Series championships in the 1940s. 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). He had been the longest-tenured living Hall of Famer. "It was, you know, a dream come true," Musial once said. "I always wanted to be a ballplayer." Baseball lost another Hall of Famer yesterday when Earl Weaver died. (Read more Stan Musial stories.)