A 21-year-old Stan Musial, on the cusp of greatness, relaxing before a game at Braves Field in 1942, his first full season in the majors. Photography by the great Leslie Jones, from the Boston Public Library collection.
Musial would have a fine year in 1942, batting .315 in 140 games, helping the powerhouse Cardinals win 106 games and the World Series, but would begin his dominant play in earnest in 1943, leading the majors in 11 offensive categories, including a .357 BA, to earn his first All-Star berth and NL MVP award as St Louis cruised to another pennant with 105 wins. He’d have another great year in 1944 as the Cards again won 105 for a 3rd straight pennant, and second World Championship in 3 years. WWII came calling in 1945, but didn’t slow him down much, as he came right back in 1946 with another MVP award and World Series win, and garner one more MVP in 1948.
The stats are astounding – 24x All-Star, 3x NL MVP, 7 batting titles, 3 WS rings; as one of the best National League players in history, no doubt he was certainly “The Man”!
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