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Stan Musial was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals as a pitcher in 1936. / AP

Stan Musial was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals as a pitcher in 1936. A shoulder injury in the minors ended his pitching career and he became an outfielder.

A Hall of Fame career was born. He won three National League MVP awards, three World Series titles, seven NL batting titles and set countless records.

Musial had a decorated career on-and-off the field. Here are six things, in honor of his jersey number, you might not know about "The Man:"

  • In 1957, Musial became the first major league player to earn an annual salary of $100,000. But after a sub-par season in 1959 ?? when he hit a career-low .255 ?? Musial asked the Cardinals to cut his salary to $80,000.
  • Musial was quite the showman off the field as well. During his playing days, he learned to play the harmonica. Musial, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1969, began a tradition of playing the harmonica and leading the crowd at the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies with his rendition of Take Me Out to the Ball Game.
  • In February 2011, President Obama presented Musial with the highest award that can be given to an American civilian, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
  • At age 24, Musial missed the entire 1945 season to serve in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He was based in Pearl Harbor.
  • Cardinal Nation can thank "Dem Bums" from Brooklyn for Musial's nickname, 'The Man.' During a game at Ebbets Field in 1946, Dodgers fans chanted "Here comes the man" each time he came to the plate. In a story the next day in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, a columnist noted the reference and the nickname stuck.
  • Musial retired in 1963 with 55 major league records. His Hall of Fame statistics are remarkable. Musial retired with exactly 1,815 hits at home and 1,815 on the road. He also had an unbelievably low strikeout rate. The slugger, who hit 475 home runs, never struck out more than 46 times in a season. He struck out once every 18 plate appearances. He also walked (1,599) more than twice as much as he struck out (696).


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