Cooperstown Crier - Your Source for Hometown News - Cooperstown, Baseball Hall of Fame

Local Sports

January 24, 2013

Hall remembers two of their own

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Dickie Kerr, Musial’s manager, suggested that Musial turn to hitting. The next year he hit so well he received the call-up with St. Louis.

The Cardinals won the World Series in 1942 even though Musial was hitting under .320 as the team’s everyday left fielder. The next season turned around for him however. Musial won his first of three National League Most Valuable Player awards for leading the Cardinals back to the World Series, where they were defeated by the Yankees.

Musial and the Cardinals captured the World Series again in 1944, and after taking 1945 off to serve in the Navy, Musial won his second MVP in 1946 while leading St. Louis to its third World Series title in five seasons.

Despite his odd batting stance, Musial had his greatest offensive season in 1948, hitting a career-high .376 while missing the Triple Crown by just one home run. He won his third and final MVP that year.

The next season, Musial finished second in the MVP voting for the first of three straight seasons and played in his sixth All-Star Game. Over the final 14 years of his career, Musial would play in 18 more All-Star Games (two per season from 1959-62). His 24 All-Star Game selections are more than anyone except Hank Aaron.

Musial hit a batting slump in 1959 when he hit a career-low .255 and asked the Cardinals to slash his salary. He was able to bounce back, and over the next few years made a run at the National League batting title in 1962. The 41-year-old had to settle on third place with a .330 average, but finished his career with seven National League batting championships.

Musial retired after the 1963 season with a .331 batting average. At the time, he held the National League record for hits with 3,630. His hit count still ranks fourth all-time, his 6,134 total bases still rank second, his 725 doubles third and his 1,951 RBIs are sixth.

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