ST. LOUIS - 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.
Earlier on Saturday, baseball lost another Hall of Famer when longtime Baltimore manager Earl Weaver died at 82.
Stan the Man was so revered in St. Louis that two statues in his honor stand outside Busch Stadium - one just wouldn't do him justice. He was one of baseball's greatest hitters, every bit the equal of Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio even without the bright lights of the big city.
Musial won seven National League batting titles, was a three-time MVP and helped the Cardinals capture three World Series championships in the 1940s.
The Cardinals said Musial died Saturday evening at his home in Ladue, a St. Louis suburb, surrounded by his family.
"I never heard anybody say a bad word about him, ever," Willie Mays said in a statement released by the Hall of Fame.
Musial spent his 22-year career with the Cardinals and made the All-Star team 24 times - there were two All-Star games each summer for a few seasons. He was the longest-tenured living Hall of Famer. A pitcher in the low minors until he injured his arm, Musial turned to playing the outfield and first base. It was a stroke of luck for him, as he went on to hit .331 with 475 home runs before retiring in 1963.
The outfielder-first baseman was the first Cardinal to have his number retired. Ol' 6 probably was the most popular, too, especially after Albert Pujols bolted to the Angels.
"I will cherish my friendship with Stan for as long as I live," Pujols wrote on Twitter. "Rest in Peace."
Duke of Earl won 4 AL pennants, baited umps
BALTIMORE - Loved in Baltimore long after he ended his Hall of Fame career, Weaver stayed an Oriole to the end.
The salty-tongued, umpire-baiting manager died on a Caribbean cruise associated with the Orioles. Weaver began choking Friday night, but a cause of death was unknown.
He took the Orioles to the World Series four times in 17 seasons and won the title in 1970. He liked to wait for a three-run homer rather than manufacture a run with a stolen base or a bunt. Weaver was ejected 91 times, including once in both games of a doubleheader. "On my tombstone just write, 'The sorest loser that ever lived,'" he once said.
"He was an intense competitor and smart as a whip when it came to figuring out ways to beat you," said Davey Johnson, who played for Weaver, whose .583 win percentage was fifth among managers serving 10-plus years in the 20th century.