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50 years ago: Stan the Man inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame

During his Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Musial called it “the most wonderful honor of my career.”
Stan Musial, one of baseball greats, of the St. Louis Cardinals, and now a member of the Hall of Fame, was visibly shaken which brought tears to his eyes, as he spoke of his days as a baseball player, July 28, 1969 in Cooperstown, New York. Musial?s plaque hangs in background. Man at left is unidentified.(AP Photo/Ray Howard)

ST. LOUIS — Sunday, July 28 marks 50 years since “baseball’s perfect knight” was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Stan Musial was elected in 1969 on his first appearance on the ballot, getting 93.2% of the vote.

There is no list of ‘Greatest Cardinals of All Time’ that doesn’t have Stan the Man on it or at the top.

Musial spent his entire career wearing the Birds on the Bat, playing 22 seasons in St. Louis. On any major baseball website, you’ll see that statistic split up from 1941-44 and 1946-63—he spent 1945 serving our country in the U.S. Navy during World War II.

He was released from service in March 1946 and got right back into the swing of things. Musial led every measurable offensive statistic in 1946, won his second National League MVP Award and helped the Cards win the World Series.

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Credit: AP
In this March 1958 file photo, St. Louis Cardinals' Stan Musial, with bat in hand, poses for a photo during spring training baseball in Florida. Musial was one of baseball's greatest hitters and a Hall of Famer with the Cardinals for more than two decades. (AP Photo/File)

Musial ended his career with three World Series championships, three NL MVP Awards and appeared in 24 All-Star games (the 1959-62 seasons had two All-Star games, and he appeared in all of them).

When he retired, baseball commissioner Ford Frick famously said, “Here stands baseball’s perfect warrior. Here stands baseball’s perfect knight.” The quote is now inscribed on Musial’s statue outside Busch Stadium.

During his Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Musial called it “the most wonderful honor of my career.”

Here’s how Musial ended his Hall of Fame speech back in 1969:

I played against men who played in the 1930s. I stayed ’til 1963 playing against men who will be playing in the 1970s. So, I think I can feel qualified to say that baseball really was a great game and baseball is really a great game and baseball will always be a great game. So, it’s a pleasure now to be a part of this great game and I hope that I gave baseball as much as it gave to me. And thank you for listening in the most wonderful honor of my career.

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