Battleline: Dark Day For Baseball - The Missourian: Sports

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Posted: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 9:00 am | Updated: 1:33 pm, Wed Jan 23, 2013.

Revered and respected.

Stan Musial, despite his death Saturday at the age of 92, remains the icon of the St. Louis Cardinals franchise.

In an era of controversy in the game, Musial remained one of baseball’s true gentlemen.

Visitation will be held Thursday from 2-8 p.m. at the Cathedral Basilica in St. Louis. The private funeral Mass is set for Saturday and the procession will travel from there to Busch Stadium to lay a wreath at the base of the Stan Musial Statue.

“I never heard anybody say a bad word about him, ever,” Willie Mays said in a statement released by the Baseball Hall of Fame.

The baseball world had universal respect for Stan The Man, and that even includes fans of the Cubs, Dodgers, Giants and other old National League rivals.

The story, told many times, goes that it was the Brooklyn fans who gave him his nickname, “Uh, oh. Here comes the man again; here comes the man.”

Musial wasn’t flashy, he wasn’t controversial, but he was darned good at what he did.

Playing for four pennant winners, three which won World Series titles, Musial set a number of marks, holding 55 records when he retired at the age of 43 in 1963 after playing in 22 seasons.

Musial’s No. 6 was the first number retired by the Cardinals, the ultimate sign of respect by the organization.

Musial wasn’t a power hitter, but could smack the long ball credibly ending with 475 home runs in his career.

Musial was the National League’s all-time leader in hits when he left the game at 3,630 with half of them coming at home and half on the road. His final hit, a single against Cincinnati in 1963, went past the Reds’ rookie second baseman, Pete Rose. Rose went on to become the career hits leader near the end of his career.

Those who never got to see Musial play during his career have heard the exploits and have seen the statues at Busch Stadium. Musial always remained close to the Cardinals after his retirement. He was general manager of the 1967 World Series champions and remained in the organization after that.

And many remembered the gregarious man who would pull out his harmonica and play tunes such as “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” which he even performed at the White House.

Many probably don’t know that Musial originally was a pitcher when he was signed out of Donora, Pa. By 1940, his hitting skills were put to good use and Musial roamed the outfield when not throwing. But an injury after a fall while playing Class D ball changed his direction and Musial became a full-time hitter.

The Man was everything that baseball was supposed to be — dignity, honor and grace — the antithesis of how the game is viewed now after the recent Hall of Fame voting on the steroid-era players. If baseball is to remain America’s Pastime, it needs more Musials and less controversy.

Musial’s best season was 1948, when he led the National League in 10 categories, including batting average (.376) and RBIs (131). His 39 home runs left him one behind Johnny Mize and Ralph Kiner for the league lead. With one more dinger, he would have won the Triple Crown.

During that year, the Cardinals signed a second baseman out of Beaumont High School, Earl Weaver.

Weaver, who made his name managing the Baltimore Orioles (who had been the St. Louis Browns prior to their move) also died Saturday while on the Orioles’ fantasy cruise in the Caribbean Sea.

As Musial was one of the game’s great players, Weaver was one of its top tacticians. Weaver led the Orioles to four pennants and one World Series title between two stints as manager (1968-82 and 1985-86).

His philosophy of “pitching, defense and the three-run homer” has been followed by just about everyone and epitomizes what we would call “American League baseball.”

Weaver pioneered keeping and using situational statistics to set up favorable matchups. He also was a believer in the platoon system. Both have been copied by many. “Weaver on Strategy” is considered required reading for any prospective baseball leader.

Unlike Musial, Weaver could have a fiery side which often flared in games. He was ejected from at least 90 games while arguing with umpires. The fans usually got a lot of enjoyment from watching Weaver get into one of his heated discussions.

Weaver is revered in Baltimore, where they retired his No. 4 following his initial retirement in 1982.

Yes, Saturday certainly was a sad day for the baseball world.

/sports

Area Scoreboard

Football

Week 10 Schedule Playoff Round 1

Friday, Oct. 24

Washington at Battle    7 p.m.

Kennedy at Borgia    7 p.m.

Pacific at Union    7 p.m.

Priory at Sullivan    7 p.m.

Salem at St. James    7 p.m.

Southern Boone at Owensville    7 p.m.

Transportation and Law at Hermann    7 p.m.

Moberly at Warrenton    7 p.m.

Wright City at O’Fallon Christian    7 p.m.

Jefferson at Cuba    7 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 25

St. Clair at Westminster    2:30 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 17

Francis Howell N 24, Washington 20

Westminster 35, Borgia 14

*Union 35, Hermann 32

*St. Clair 26, Owensville 12

*Pacific 34, St. James 22

Helias 56, Sullivan 3

Ft. Zumwalt East 42, Warrenton 0

*Clopton-Elsberry 20, Wright City 0

Saturday, Oct. 18

Hogan Prep 49, Cuba 6

Friday, Oct. 10

Holt 21, Washington 14

Borgia 42, St. Clair 7

Union 68, St. James 20

Hermann 32, Pacific 24 (OT)

Sullivan 38, Owensville 12

Orchard Farm 28, Warrenton 3

Wright City 22, North Callaway 18

Father Tolton 35, Cuba 0

Softball

Sectional Games

Wednesday, Oct. 15

Bolivar 17, Sullivan 2

Mexico 5, Warrenton 4

Thursday, Oct. 16

Pacific 12, Rosati-Kain 0

Saturday, Oct. 18

Quarterfinal — De Soto 5, Pacific 2

District Tournaments

Softball

Class 4 District 4

Wednesday, Oct. 8

(4) Northwest 11, (5) Rolla 3

Saturday, Oct. 11

(1) Lafayette 3, Northwest 1

(2) Eureka 4, (3) Washington 0

Monday, Oct. 13

Championship — Eureka 5, Lafayette 0

Class 3 District 3

At Lutheran South

Wednesday, Oct. 8

(4) Affton 3, (5) Bishop DuBourg 2

(3) Pacific 21, (6) Bayless 0

Sunday, Oct. 12

(1) Lutheran South 11, Affton 1

Pacific 1, (2) Notre Dame 0

Championship — Pacific 2, Lutheran South 1

Class 3 District 7

At St. Dominic

Wednesday, Oct. 8

(4) Borgia 9, (5) Wentzville Liberty 8

(3) Winfield 15, (6) O’Fallon Christian 1

Saturday, Oct. 11

At Borgia

(1) St. Dominic 12, Borgia 3

(2) Warrenton 11, Winfield 2

Championship — Warrenton 1, St. Dominic 0

Class 3 District 9

At Sullivan

Wednesday, Oct. 8

(4) St. James 12, (5) Owensville 3

(3) Sullivan 11, (6) St. Clair 1

Saturday, Oct. 11

At Union High School

St. James 10, (1) Union 5

Sullivan 5 (2) Salem 4 (8 innings)

Championship — Sullivan 11, St. James 6

Class 2 District 10

At New Bloomfield

Wednesday, Oct. 8

(4) New Bloomfield 5, (5) Belle 0

(3) South Callaway 9, (6) Hermann 0

Saturday, Oct. 11

South Callaway 7, (2) Linn 2

(1) Fatima 6, New Bloomfield 1

Championship — Fatima 7, South Callaway 4

Class 1 District 4

At Community R6, Laddonia

Wednesday, Oct. 8

(4) Wellsville-Middletown 8, (5) New Haven 2

(3) Van-Far 4, (6) Community R6 2

Saturday, Oct. 11

(1) Clopton 13, Wellsville 0

(2) Silex 10, Van-Far 0

Championship — Silex 3, Clopton 0

Volleyball

District Tournaments

Class 4 District 3

At Rockwood Summit

Monday, Oct. 20

(4) Eureka def. (5) Pacific 25-9, 25-16

(2) Northwest def. (7) Parkway South, 25-18, 25-12

(3) Washington def. (6) Rockwood Summit, 25-21, 25-15

Tuesday, Oct. 21

(1) Lafayette def. Eureka, 17-25, 25-14, 25-19

Northwest def. Washington, 25-22, 25-18

Championship — Lafayette def. Northwest, 25-19, 25-20

Class 3 District 8

At Union

Monday, Oct. 20

(5) St. Clair def. (4) Union, 25-20, 25-22

(2) Sullivan def. (7) Salem, 25-7, 25-8

(3) Owensville def. (6) St. James, 14-25, 25-16, 25-19

Tuesday, Oct. 21

(1) Borgia def. St. Clair, 25-10, 25-6

Sullivan def. Owensville, 25-20, 20-25, 25-20

Championship — Borgia def. Sullivan, 25-7, 25-10

Class 2 District 6

At Lutheran St. Charles

Monday, Oct. 20

(4) Barat def. (5) Wright City, 25-16, 24-26, 25-22

(2) Hermann def. (7) Bowling Green, 25-12, 25-18

(3) Whitfield def. (6) Montgomery County, 25-23, 25-17

Tuesday, Oct. 21

(1) Lutheran St. Charles def. Barat, 25-10, 25-9

Whitfield def. Hermann, 23-25, 25-23, 25-15

Championship — Lutheran St. Charles def. Whitfield, 25-18, 25-14

Class 1 District 9

At Calvary Lutheran, Jefferson City

Monday, Oct. 20

(4) Smithton def. (5) Otterville, 25-12, 25-10

(3) Chamois def. (6) Bunceton, 25-23, 25-18

Tuesday, Oct. 21

(1) New Haven def. Smithton, 25-5, 25-7

(2) Calvary Lutheran def. Chamois, 25-14, 25-11

Thursday, Oct. 23

Championship — New Haven def. Calvary Lutheran, 25-9, 25-16

Sectional Matches Saturday, Oct. 25

Class 3

At Villa Duchesne

Villa Duchesne vs. St. Dominic, 3 p.m.

Borgia vs. Duchesne, 4:30 p.m.

Championship, 6 p.m.

Class 1

At New Haven

New Haven vs. Liberal, 3 p.m.

Green Ridge vs. Osceola, 4:30 p.m.

Championship, 6 p.m.

Boys Soccer

Saturday, Oct. 18

Washington 1, Borgia 0 (Penalty kicks)

Monday, Oct. 20

Washington 3, Sullivan 0

Fatima 3, Union 0

Pacific 6, De Soto 1

Tuesday, Oct. 21

ECC 4, Central Methodist JV 1

Fulton SA at Calvary Lutheran    4:30 p.m.

Union 3, Warrenton 0

Hancock 7, St. Clair 0

Rockwood Summit 2, Pacific 1 (PKs)

Bayless 3, Borgia 2 (2OT)

Wednesday, Oct. 22

St. Clair 2, Valley Park 0

Lutheran S 2, Washington 0

Windsor 4, Union 1

*Pacific 2, St. James 0

Thursday, Oct. 23

Ft. Zumwalt W 2, Washington 0

Belle 1, St. James 0

Borgia 1, Fatima 0

Pacific 6, St. Clair 0

District Tournaments

Class 4 District 8

At Washington

Monday, Oct. 27

(1) Timberland vs. (4) Washington, 5 p.m.

(2) Troy vs. (3) Holt, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 29

Championship, 5 p.m.

Class 3 District 3

At Rockwood Summit

Monday, Oct. 27

(2) Rockwood Summit vs. (3) Pacific, 5 p.m.

(1) Webster Groves vs. (4) Windsor, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 29

Championship, 6 p.m.

Class 3 District 9

At Union

Monday, Oct. 27

(1) Camdenton vs. (4) Union, 5 p.m.

(2) Helias vs. (3) Rolla, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 29

Championship, 6 p.m.

Class 2 District 7

At Winfield

Tuesday, Oct. 28

(1) Borgia vs. (4) Winfield, 4:30 p.m.

(2) O’Fallon Christian vs. (3) Elsberry, 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 29

Championship, 5 p.m.

Cross Country

Saturday, Oct. 25

Borgia at Clayton Inv    9 a.m.

Washington at Class 4 District, Parkway Central, TBA

Boys Swimming

Thursday, Oct. 23

Borgia 105, Trinity 105, Lutheran/Christian 42

Saturday, Oct. 25

Borgia at MICDS Inv    7 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 28

Washington at GAC Meet    TBA

Wednesday, Oct. 29

*Borgia at Trinity    TBA

Washington at GAC Meet    TBA

*Conference Games

Racing News