The late Stan Musial appears on four regional SI covers this week. The Cardinals legend died at the age of 92. (Bettman/Corbis; Mark Kauffman/SI; Rich Clarkson/SI)
“You know that when I talked about baseball I always told the truth. Well, there was one time when I lied. Whitey Platt, who used to play for the Chicago Cubs, asked me one day what the secret was to my hitting. Well, I thought I’d kid him about it, and I told him that when I was playing in a small park I would hit the bottom half of the ball to give it a rise and when I played in the longer parks I would hit the top half of the ball for line drives. Pretty soon, all the players started coming around asking me my secret for hitting the top half or bottom half of the ball.”
Photo: John Rogers archive via Paragon
If it’s possible to say this about someone with the 12th highest career WAR, Musial is underrated. He hit .331 lifetime with 3,630 hits, and 475 of those were home runs. Three MVPs. Twenty All-Star Games. Three World Series rings.
And yet how many kids would list him on the top ten players of all time? St. Louis, pre-internet, will do that to ya.