The sporting world mourned the deaths of two major league Hall of Famers, one who played in a record-tying number of All-Star Games, the other who never played in the majors.
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.
Feisty Earl Weaver, who managed the Baltimore Orioles for 17 seasons over two stints, died at age 82 on a Caribbean cruise associated with the Orioles.
Musial, nicknamed “Stan the Man,” was so revered in St. Louis that two statues in his honor stand outside Busch Stadium. He won seven National League batting titles, was a three-time MVP and helped the Cardinals capture three World Series championships in the 1940s.
“It is a very sad day for me,” Hall of Famer Willie Mays told ESPN. “ Again, a true gentleman on and off the field – I never heard anybody say a bad word about him, ever.”
Musial was in declining health for years, including being afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease. Lillian Musial, his wife of more than 70 years, died May 4.
Musial 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, getting inducted into the hall in 1969.
Weaver guided the Orioles to the World Series four times and won the title in 1970. His .583 winning percentage ranks fifth among managers who served 10 or more seasons in the 20th century.
He will forever remain a part of Camden Yards. A statue of him was dedicated in the stadium’s flag court.
Weaver was a salty-tongued manager who preferred to wait for a three-run homer rather than manufacture a run with a stolen base or a bunt. While some purists argued that strategy, no one could dispute the results.
“Earl Weaver stands alone as the greatest manager in the history of the Orioles organization and one of the greatest in the history of baseball,” Orioles owner Peter Angelos said.