Thursday, August 28, 2008

#665 Turn Back the Clock - 1963

Why this card is awesome: Because, boy, with the TBTC cards, the Hall of Famers come fast and furious. I can't think of anything better in a 1988 set than having a reprint of a 25-year-old Stan Musial card. At the time I collected the 88 Topps set as a youngster, I had never even seen any cards old than a 1968 Tom Seaver that my friend Eric had.

Cool stat: For some reason, Musial often doesn't get mentioned among the very best greats of the game. Names that always seem to come ahead of him include Ruth, Gehrig, Mantle, Mays, Aaron, Williams, DiMaggio, and others. But Stan the Man is top shelf along with those guys. He had a very long and productive career and had a period of peak performance from 1948 to 1954, when he led all of baseball in hitting. During that same period, he also led all of baseball in RBIs and runs scored. And doubles. And triples. And he struck out only 248 times over those 7 seasons.

Hall of Fame count: 42


MMayes said...

Struck out 248 times in 4800 plate appearances and still had an OPS over 1.000. Does that still happen? I did a couple of searches for seasons of 500 plate appearances (Stan averaged 685), 1.000 OPS and fewer than 50 strikeouts (Stan averaged 35). From 1959 through current, there have been 13 such seasons. Bonds (2002, 2004), Nomar (1999, 2000) and George Brett (1980, 1985) have 2 each. Pujols (2006) has one in process this year, but he's already at 45 strikeouts. Others to have done this are Aaron (1969), Rico Carty (1970), Joe Morgan (1976), Wade Boggs (1987) and Moises Alou (2000).

From 1950 to 1958 there were 12 such seasons. Ted Williams and Stan Musial had 5 each in that 9 year period (Williams missed 2 years for the Korean War and had another injured). Ted Kluszewski and Al Rosen had one each. Musial had 2 other seasons; Williams had 5 other seasons and Joe DiMaggio had 4 seasons (his OPB wasn't usually high enough, but he never struck out more than 39 times in a season).

Yes, Stan Musial was a pretty special player

David said...

Good point, mmayes.

In fact, in the last 80 years, no one with at least 10,000 at-bats has struck out fewer times than Stan.

And no one with at least 400 HRs has struck out fewer times than Stan.