McCurdy: The first and last games of Stan Musial’s career

From SABR member Bill McCurdy at The Pecan Park Eagle on June 23, 2014:

In The Beginning, September 17, 1941: Stan Musial broke into the big leagues at the age of 20 as the third-batting left fielder of the St. Louis Cardinals in the second game of  a doubleheader against the Boston Braves at Braves Field in Boston on September 17, 1941. The Cardinals won, 3-2, for a DH sweep and a 91-51 record that proved good enough at season’s end for fora close-of-day mark of 97-56, .634 second place finish behind the Brooklyn Dodgers by 2.5 games. Young Musial would go 2 for 4 in his debut game. His production included a double and two runs batted in.

At Journey’s End, September 29, 1963: At age 42, Stan Musial is playing the last game of his career on the final day of the 1963 season. He hasn’t tasted a World Series victory since 1946, but he has been a St. Louis Cardinal for all of his 23 MLB seasons. The date was September 29, 1963 and the Cardinals were hosting the Cincinnati Reds at Busch Stadium I (Sportsman’s Park III) in the last game of the season and the ong reign of the Stan Musial era. In another of irony, Stan would go out the way he came in.  The Man’s 2 hits and 1 RBI would help the Cards to another 3-2 win, the same score that registered in favor of St. Louis in Musial’s first MLB game back in 1941. The 1963 Cardinals finished with a record of 93-69, .574, good enough again, as in 1941, for a 2nd place finish in the NL behind the Dodgers,who now resided in Los Angeles, but this time, by 6 games. Stan finished where he started, playing left field and hitting third.

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Originally published: June 24, 2014. Last Updated: June 24, 2014.