Baseball Card of the Week: "The Man" Gets His

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.

Jayson Stark
, 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. 

So while you're thinking about how nice a guy Stan was, check out his Baseball Reference page and marvel at what kind of a ballplayer he was, too. 

Oh, and then, see if we can't get something done about that damned statue. No one wants to listen to me, it seems; see if you have any better luck. 
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