The Cardinals have 10 World Series titles, the second highest total in Major League Baseball history. While St. Louis is seeking an 11th, the Texas Rangers are hoping to land their first.
Bill Littlefield speaks with George Vecsey, New York Times columnist and author of Stan Musial: An American Life about the legacy of Stan Musial and the expectations for the St. Louis Cardinals in this year’s Series.
According to Vecsey, the world of baseball has changed quite a bit since the days of “Stan The Man,” played from 1940s into the early 60s.
“When Musial came along, there were hardly any rich teams in baseball. It was a ‘mom and pop’ operation, and the Cardinals certainly were.”
Today, there’s a lot more money in the game, but Vecsey says the Cardinals organization still lives within the budget a mid-sized media market will allow. Another thing has stayed the same over the years: the Cardinals keep finding their way back to the Fall Classic. During Musial’s career, the Cards won it all three times.
Musial still lives in Missouri and Vecsey having him around the team contributes to sense of tradition among current stars.
“He is a living icon,” Vecsey says. “I dont know any athlete who means as much to one city as Musial does to St. Louis.”
Current Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols asked people to stop using the nickname, “El Hombre,” which was a reference to “Stan the Man.” Vecsey says even though the nickname was meant as a tribute to both players, Pujols thought it stepped on team history.
“Pujols says,’There’s only one man in this town.'”