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Sat 10:55pm: Hall of Famers Stan Musial, Earl Weaver dead

January 19, 2013
Tribune Chronicle | TribToday.com

ST. LOUIS - Stan Musial, the St. Louis Cardinals star with the corkscrew stance and too many batting records to fit on his Hall of Fame plaque, died Saturday. He was 92.

Stan the Man was so revered in St. Louis that two statues in his honor stand outside Busch Stadium - one just wouldn't do him justice. He was one of baseball's greatest hitters, every bit the equal of Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio even without the bright lights of the big city.

Musial won seven National League batting titles, was a three-time MVP and helped the Cardinals capture three World Series championships in the 1940s.

The Cardinals announced Musial's death in a news release. They said he died Saturday evening at his home in Ladue, a St. Louis suburb, surrounded by his family. The team said Musial's son-in-law, Dave Edmonds, informed the club of Musial's death.

"I never heard anybody say a bad word about him, ever," Willie Mays said in a statement released by the Hall of Fame.

Earlier on Saturday, baseball lost another Hall of Famer when longtime Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver died at age 82.

The notoriously feisty Hall of Fame manager died on a Caribbean cruise associated with the Orioles, his marketing agent said Saturday.

"Earl was a black and white manager," former O's ace and Hall of Fame member Jim Palmer said Saturday. "He kind of told you what your job description was going to be and kind of basically told you if you wanted to play on the Orioles, this was what you needed to do. And if you couldn't do it, I'll get someone else. I know that's kind of tough love, but I don't think anyone other than Marianna, his wife, would describe Earl as a warm and fuzzy guy."

Weaver took the Orioles to the World Series four times over 17 seasons but won only one title, in 1970. His .583 winning percentage ranks fifth among managers who served 10 or more seasons in the 20th century.

Dick Gordon said Weaver's wife told him that Weaver went back to his cabin after dinner and began choking between 10:30 and 11 Friday night. Gordon said a cause of death has not been determined.

"It's a sad day. Earl was a terrific manager," Orioles vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said. "The simplicity and clarity of his leadership and his passion for baseball was unmatched. He's a treasure for the Orioles. He leaves a terrific legacy of winning baseball with the Orioles and we're so grateful for his contribution. He has a legacy that will live on."

As for Musial, he spent his entire 22-year career with the Cardinals and made the All-Star team 24 times - baseball held two All-Star games each summer for a few seasons. He was the longest-tenured living Hall of Famer.

"Stan will be remembered in baseball annals as one of the pillars of our game," Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson said. "The mold broke with Stan. There will never be another like him."

A pitcher in the low minors until he injured his arm, Musial turned to playing the outfield and first base. It was a stroke of luck for him, as he went on to hit .331 with 475 home runs before retiring in 1963.

Widely considered the greatest Cardinals player ever, the outfielder and first baseman was the first person in team history to have his number retired. Ol' 6 probably was the most popular, too, especially after Albert Pujols skipped town.

"I will cherish my friendship with Stan for as long as I live," Pujols wrote on Twitter. "Rest in Peace."

 
 

 

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