A 24-Time Major League All-Star in Columbus

The city of Columbus has an incredibly rich baseball history. For example, Cooper Stadium, the predecessor of beautiful Huntington Park, was the first ballpark in America to have fixed stadium lighting when built in 1931. Later, it was the first ballpark to ever have luxury suites and, unfortaunely, the first to ever install astroturf.

However, the piece of Columbus baseball history I find most fascinating dates back to 1941. It was on February 5th of that year that Stan Musial, one of the greatest baseball players to ever live, signed a contract with the Columbus Red Birds.

Although he eventually went on to collect 3,630 hits, 475 home runs, and 1,951 runs batted in as the star outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals, young Stan was a left-handed reliever for a brief stint right here in Columbus.

Thanks to Joe Santry, the longtime Public Relations Director with the Clippers, we have this terrific scan on Musial's contract with Red Birds. So much for big contracts, Musial was paid $150 per month.

Meet the one-and-only Stan "Muscial."

The only picture the Clippers have of Musial during his time in Columbus came from the Ohio State newspaper which spelled his name “Muscial.” Whoops!

Not only was “Stan the Man” a first-ballot Hall of Famer in 1969, he was a record 24-time All-Star (tied with Willie Mays), a three-time World Series Champion, and three-time National League MVP. He retired with an unreal .331 lifetime batting average and won seven NL batting titles. My personal favorite, of his 3,630 career hits, 1,815 came at home, the other 1,815 on the road.

Musial is the greatest St. Louis Cardinal to ever live and that will never, ever change. All kinds of credit goes to Joe Santry and the Clippers for preserving the memory of Musial in Columbus.

Currently on a season-high four-game losing streak, the PawSox could use Musial tonight as they conclude the current series in Columbus. First pitch this evening from Huntington Park is set for 6:35, we’re on-air with the pre-game show at 6:20.

Talk with you then.

-AG

@aaronmgoldsmith
agoldsmith@pawsox.com

The iconic Stan Musial statue outside Busch Stadium in St. Louis. (Thomas Johnson)

1 Comment

Great stuff on Musial. You gotta love minor league baseball history!

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