Stan Musial’s legacy has come under discussion with the All-Star festivities taking place in St. Louis. Dave Brown at Yahoo! Sports asks why the guy isn’t more celebrated. Joe Posnanski is easily one of baseball’s most popular writers — widely read by fans of sabermetrics and superb writing alike — has repeatedly hammered Musial’s nail into our memory banks as one of the best ever to play. Still, the message seems to have either been ignored or largely forgotten until this week.
Present day fans of the Cardinals are spoiled much like fans of the Musial days. Sure, the Cardinals have some holes, and yeah, they’ve only won a single World Series with Pujols, but I’m guessing none of them would trade the experiences with Albert Pujols for another world title. Not because they don’t care about winning or anything silly like that, but because Pujols is as close to a deity as baseball has right now. He’s the type of player that, even if you can’t afford him in talent or dollars, teams should send their scouts to watch. To appreciate.
Few would argue Pujols’ placement amongst the all-time greats. He is only 29-years-old and it’s hard to see Pujols sliding off the mountain top anytime soon. He is beyond the point of being discussed as a potential legend, he is one. He’s a player we’ll tell our grandchildren about in the same tone – with the same exuberance and respect – as the older generations talk about Musial. That makes it only fitting that the two share more than a team in common:
Pujols’ line acts like a shadow to that of Musial’s. Think about how many players outhit Pujols through age 29. Five? Maybe six? Hitting better than Pujols is the baseball equivalent of outmaneuvering Alexander the Great or outwitting Kurt Vonnegut. It happens, but not too often. Musial and Pujols have nearly identical wOBA, but Musial racked up 7,320 plate appearances after turning 30-years-old. Will Pujols? Can he hold the same level of performance if he does? Probably not, and that’s why we should think of Stan Musial in higher terms than we do.