Stan Musial

Stan MusialWhat Derek Jeter†was to New York and Yankees fans, Stan Musial was to St. Louis and Cardinals fans for more than 70 years. Everywhere he went, Musial was adored by fans, and he usually greeted them by mimicking his batting stance or playing the harmonica that he usually kept in his pocket.

When he came up with the Cardinals in 1941, Musial was labeled a canít-miss star †and he didnít disappoint. In his first three full seasons (1942-44), Musial helped the Redbirds to three pennants and two World Series titles. He won seven batting titles, earned three MVP Awards before he turned 28, and made the All-Star team twenty times.

Consecutive Games Played Streak and a Rules Change
On August 29, 1955, Musial was hit in his right hand by a pitch from Johnny Podres. The hand was badly bruised. For the next two games on the road he was listed in the starting lineup but manager Harry Walker sent up a pinch-hitter for him as soon as his turn came around. This was to preserve Musial’s consecutive games played streak, which was approaching †the NL mark held by Gus Suhr. In the offseason, the rules were changed to say that a player must appear in the field for one full inning or take a turn at-bat to extend a streak.

Musial’s streak reached 895 games before ending in August of 1957. It was the NL record until it was surpassed by Billy Williams and later Steve Garvey.