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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Musial’s career numbers being chased

On this day exactly 71 years ago, 20-year-old Stan Musial made his St. Louis debut. In the second game of a double-header at Sportsman’s Park against Boston, the right-fielder singled, doubled and drove in two.

Over the ensuing 22 years. Musial collected countless career records. While many of them still stand today, some are being approached.

Last Wednesday night, former Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols launched another home run, this time against the Oakland A’s. The fact that it was the 475th of his career wasn’t particularly notable to his current Los Angeles Angels, but the blast against the A’s had a distinct St. Louis undertone.

The home run tied him with the man whose legacy he could have supplanted, Hall of Famer Musial, for 28th place on the all-time MLB home run list. Pujols hit his first 445 home runs during his 11 years as a Cardinal.

While Pujols will soon surpass “The Man” in this statistical category, he forever abdicated his chance to do so in the hearts of Cardinals fans.

Pujols isn’t the only player who has recently closed in on one of Musial’s career marks.

With a two-run home run for the New York Yankees Friday night, Alex Rodriguez collected the 1,944th and 1,945th RBIs of his career and scored for the 1,889th time.

Rodriguez pulled to within five RBI from tying Musial for fifth place on the all-time RBI list but he is still 60 runs short behind Musial for eighth place on the career runs scored list.

Another third baseman, Atlanta’s Chipper Jones, is on his farewell tour, set to retire after this season, his 19th in the majors. His most recent milestone is a combination of nine offensive stats.

Jones has become the fifth player in major league history to register at least 1,500 walks, 2,500 hits, 1,500 runs, 500 doubles, 450 home runs and 1,500 RBI while hitting .300 with a .400 on-base percentage and a .500 slugging percentage. Jones has joined Musial and three others – Babe Ruth, Ted Williams and Lou Gehrig.

When Jim Thome hit a pinch-hit home run on June 24, he set a new MLB record for walk-off home runs in a career with 13. Thome had been tied with Musial and four other Hall of Famers – Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, Frank Robinson and Mickey Mantle.

It all began on September 17, 1941.

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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21 Responses to “Musial’s career numbers being chased”

  1. blingboy says:

    Personally, I wouldn’t count the 4 DH homers, but he is clearly the best .280 hitter in baseball.

    I think Stan dropped below .300 in his later years as well.

  2. Bw52 says:

    The sniping at Pujols is ridiculous.For a guy who had a horrible 1st month he is still going to have 40 plus doubles,30 plus HRs and 100 RBis.Plus the Angels are hanging in playoff conention.

  3. blingboy says:

    I don’t follow Bw.

    If I were sniping I would have surely mentioned he is heading for career lows in average, on base pct., slugging, OPS and WAR.

    I not only didn’t mention his horrible first month, I didn’t mention his horrible last month, hitting .226 in September with one homer in the last three weeks.

    He had a great middle, and I wasn’t kidding when I said he’s the best .280 hitter in baseball.

  4. Brian Walton says:

    Just read this today: “Angels: Big signings, but not-so-big crowds”.

    Arte built it, but apparently, they aren’t coming.

  5. JumboShrimp says:

    Brian’s article would seem to indicate that it took Musial 22 years of work to reach 475 homers, whereas Pujols reached this same total in just 12 years.
    This nicely illustrates Pujols’ greatness. Given another 10 years of work, Pujols might be able to increase his total to around 775. Wow.

    • Brian Walton says:

      Pujols has been great, but the two are different kinds of players. In 11 years with St. Louis, Pujols had 2,073 hits. In his first 11 full years, Stan had 2,203 (playing fewer games due to shorter schedules).

      • JumboShrimp says:

        Stan’s hits are great, but I suspect modern pitching staffs are better, in terms of relievers, because of better medical (save for our sawbones) and a bigger talent pool on which to draw.

  6. JumboShrimp says:

    Tonights heroes include such trusty standbys as Molina, Lohse, and Jay.
    We can also salute Pete Kozma’s triple and Descalso’s RBI. Kozma sure looks better than Raffy tonight, because healthy and able to contribute.

  7. crdswmn says:

    Matheny says in the post game show that Pop Warner told him what a great SS Kozma was. Well sure, that explains why he played 2nd base all season and Jackson played SS.

    Matheny you are so full of it.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      Kozma has a slugging percentage of .517, second highest on the team. Go Pete Go!

    • crdswmn says:

      And here’s a nice article by Goold about it that tells me absolutely nothing.

      Geez, what a lot of double talk. Just send Jackson home to enjoy his offseason. He’s just going to get splinters on his backside sitting on the bench.

      • blingboy says:

        At least the media types have gotten interested in the ss situation. One of them, Strauss maybe, said he doesn’t know why Jackson is getting the Tyler Greene treatment. Its the sort of thing where they normally elbow each other aside rushing for the exit. I guess they just needed Scoop Walton to break the ice for them with the article last month.

        Kozma has done something Greene never did, which is to not suck when given some playing time at the major league level.

        It also seems that Matheny is catching on to being a manager. As to the Jackson question, he talked about how Kozma is hot, etc. The media types bought it. No one said well yes he’s hot but he’s taking playing time from Descalso, the question is why has Jackson not played even one inning at short in either of his two stints in St. Louis. Personally, I’m sur that if Kozma cools off, we will see DD again, not Jackson.

        The other thing that strikes me as odd is that giving the bulk of the playing time to whoever is hot has not been the Cards modus operandi for many, many years, including this one under Matheny. So suddenly it is? Nah. Just convenient that Kozma is hot right now.

        • crdswmn says:

          There is a reason this is being done, but it’s a reason they don’t want the public to know about, which is why we are getting all the bafflegab.

          • blingboy says:

            Well, I’m sticking with my theory until I hear something better. And if they ARE out to get me, they’ll never recognize me in this hat.

            • crdswmn says:

              Oh I could probably come up with a couple of theories too, but no sense in stating them without something of substance to back them up. Whatever it is, they must think the fanbase wouldn’t like it, or they are playing some heavy game with people’s heads for economic or strategic reasons.

              It’s just too bad Jackson is paying the price of looking like a complete loser for sitting on the bench.

            • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

              Just listen to you two ……………….. Toto pulls back the curtain……….. well I never….

              • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

                She also noted that since its earlier inceptions, the developers have accepted more of the risk, including securing the bonds themselves — something DeWitt also described as key to moving the development forward.

                “All things considered, this is the way these projects should be handled,” Carmichael said.

                • blingboy says:

                  My dad is an old timer and I’m not sure just how much he understands about the business/finance side of baseball these days.

                  He says the worst thing the City ever did was letting them make a nice softball diamond next to Bill’s new stadium. Says they should have made them leave it a mud hole. Let the homeless set up camp. Says we would have had something very nice there by now without any taxpayer money.

                  Rich guys don’t fight losing battles for very long at all he says, but they can see victory a long ways off and are willing to wait.

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