Tuesday, February 21, 2012

1960 TOPPS STAN MUSIAL

STAN'S THE MAN IN EVERY SENSE OF THE WORD.
WISH THIS CARD HAD HIS COMPLETE BATTING RECORD.

THE FRONT PAGE

  • Only the second Topps regular-issued card of Stan the Man, whom I just recently added to my collection. Stan was a holdout from signing with Topps. 
  • Have to say this is one of my favorite cards, representing a player who embodies the word "class.'' 
  • Compared to other Hall of Famers, I believe Musial's cards are way undervalued. I paid $25.50. Shipped.

THE BACK PAGE

  • Great cartoon; love the batting crowns on the mantel. 
  • Three pretty significant bullet-points from '59: his 400th homer, 652nd double and 3,200th hit. Those, my friends, are some Hall of Fame milestones.

PHOTO PLAY

  • Standard issue for '60. 

EXTRA, EXTRA

  • Brooklyn Dodger fans gave Musial his nickname in 1946, lamenting "Here comes 'The Man' again'' when he came to the plate. With good reason: He hit .341 and slugged near .600 against the Dodgers.
  • At Ebbets Field, he hit .359 in 163 games with 50 doubles, 13 triples, 37 homers and 126 RBI. Wonder if the Dodgers back then ever heard of the intentional walk? 
  • Along with Willie Mays, Musial was a record 24-time All-Star. 
  • Ended his career with a .331 batting average and 3,630 hits, a National League record later broken by Pete Rose in '81. ... Won three MVPs and was a member of three World Series titles with the Cardinals.
  • Is the longest-tenured living Hall of Famer; he'll be 92 in November.
  • After a subpar '59 season, Musial accepted a pay cut for '60 and hired a trainer to help him get into better shape. He started the season slowly. By mid-June, Musial was struggling (hitting .235) and was even benched. He was unhappy and the Pirates were interested in trading for him. "I can't stand this. Maybe the Pirates could use me, and I can still hit and perhaps help them win the pennant.''
  •  Cards owner Gussie Busch got involved and nixed the trade. He was put back into the lineup and bounced back to hit .275.
  • Hit .288 in '61 and then .330 in '62, finishing third in the NL. On July 8, 1962, (nine days before I was born), Musial became the oldest player (41) to hit three homers in a game. 
  • Great story told by Hank Aaron, who was playing his first All-Star Game in '55. The NL had just tied the game at 5 in the bottom of the eighth inning: "I'll never forget Stan Musial. He said 'They don't pay me to play extra innings.'" Musial, of course, won the game with a solo homer to right in the 12th inning. 
  • Blows a mean harmonica.
  • In 3,026 major-league appearances, Musial was never ejected from a game. 
  • Finally, this from Bob Costas: "He didn't hit a homer in his last at-bat; he hit a single. He didn't hit in 56 straight games. He married his high school sweetheart and stayed married to her. ... All Musial represents is more than two decades of sustained excellence and complete decency as a human being.''

4 comments:

  1. I just pulled this card in a jumbo pack of 2011 Topps(reprint with the original back).

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  2. Agree with you 100% on the undervalue of Musial Cards. He used to have one of the sweetest autos I've ever seen. Even with old age and apparently shaky hands his sig is still better than some of today's players.

    Great article, LOVE the blog.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. I hope you continue to visit.

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