Hall of Famers Stan Musial, Earl Weaver die
Hall of Famers Musial,
Baseball Hall of Famers Stan Musial and Earl Weaver are dead.
Musial, the St. Louis Cardinals star with the corkscrew stance and too many batting records to fit on his Hall of Fame plaque, died Saturday. He was 92.
Weaver, the notoriously feisty Hall of Fame manager with the Baltimore Orioles, died at age 82 on a Caribbean cruise associated with the club, his marketing agent said Saturday.
Stan the Man was so revered in St. Louis that two statues in his honor stand outside Busch Stadium — one just wouldn’t do him justice. He was one of baseball’s greatest hitters, every bit the equal of Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio even without the bright lights of the big city.
Musial 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, a St. Louis suburb, surrounded by his family. The team said Musial’s son-in-law, Dave Edmonds, informed the club of Musial’s death.
Musial 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 was the longest-tenured living Hall of Famer.
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.
In all, Musial held 55 records when he retired in 1963. He played nearly until his 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.
Weaver always was up for an argument, especially with an umpire.
At the slightest provocation, the Earl of Baltimore would spin his hat back, point his finger squarely at an ump’s chest and then fire away. The Hall of Fame manager would even tangle with his own players, if necessary.
All this from a 5-foot-6 pepperpot who hated to be doubted.
Although reviled by some, Weaver was beloved in Baltimore and remained an Oriole to the end.
Weaver took the Orioles to the World Series four times over 17 seasons but won only one title, in 1970. His .583 winning percentage ranks fifth among managers who served 10 or more seasons in the 20th century.
He was ejected 91 times, including once in both games of a doubleheader, and entered the hall in 1996.
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