Profiles of Valor
Stan “the Man” Musial, born in Donora, Pennsylvania in 1920, was a stand-out athlete on both the basketball court and in the baseball diamond. Signing with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1938, while still in high school, the left-handed pitcher injured his left shoulder while playing the outfield in the minors.
After choosing to focus on hitting, Musial began his renown career with his 1941 major league debut, becoming a keycomponent for the Cardinals, both at bat and in the outfield.
Following the Cardinals’ World Series win in 1942, Musial claimed the National League MVP and Batting Champion titles after his 1943 breakout season. Despite falling 4-1 against the New York Yankees in the ‘43 Series, the Cardinals secured another ring in 1944.
After his second ring, Musial enlisted in the United States Navy in Jan. 1945, serving as a Seaman Second Class at PearlHarbor, repairing ships and playing baseball with the 14th Naval District All-Star Team until his March 1946 discharge.
Despite missing the ‘45 season, Musial and the Cardinals picked up where they left off, winning the 1946 seven-game World Series against the Boston Red Sox: the Cards’ third ring in five seasons. Musial also added another NL MVP award and NL batting title for the ‘46 season. After hitting a career high .376 in 1948, Musial collected his third and final NL MVP award. Musial played in St. Louis for 15 more years, retiring in 1963. He was named an All-Star for 20 of his 22 seasons and was inducted into the 1969 Hall of Fame. Musial’s achievements also included being a 3x World Series Champion, a 3x National League MVP, and a 7x National League Batting Champion.
After his playing career, Musial served as St. Louis’s General Manager for the ‘67 season, winning another ring with the Cardinals. For his service, Musial received the Navy Memorial’s Lone Star Award in 2007 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011.