ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Cardinals in the early stages of Stan Musial's career barely wanted to pay anything, but that quickly changed.
In 1942, Stan Musial had just completed his first full season in Major League Baseball. He led the St. Louis Cardinals to a World Series title, hit .315 and had a nearly .900 OPS.
That season, he made a whopping $4,500. So when the season was over, he asked for a raise.
While no one is for sure exactly what he asked for, he did receive a letter from team president Sam Breadon in which he played hardball.
The letter said:
"Your letter of March fifth, was a disappointment to me. In fairness to players who have been on the club as regulars for years, it is impossible to consider the sun you ask for 1943. You will have no more to do this year than you had last year. I thought you were the kind of ballplayer that gave all you had in every ball game. Of course, we expect the same in 1943, if you sign a contract with us.
"We could write letters until the end of the season and get no place, therefore, I suggest that you come to St. Louis, and if you do not sign a contract, and want to stay out of baseball in 1943, we will pay your round-trip expenses."
Stan Musial signed a contract for $6,250 dollars that year.
Then, he won the National League Most Valuable Player award by hitting .357 with 48 doubles and 20 triples.
In the following year, Sam Breadon signed Musial to a whopping $10,000 a-year contract.
Then in 1958, he became the first player in the National League to make $100,000.
Musial would play 22 seasons with the Cardinals from 1941 to 1944, and 1946 to 1963. He became a three-time World Series champion, a three-time National League MVP and is in the St. Louis Cardinals and Baseball Hall of Fame.
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