CARDS EXTRAS

This nice guy finished first

2013-01-24T00:00:00Z 2014-04-14T07:50:25Z This nice guy finished first stltoday.com
January 24, 2013 12:00 am

In August 1951, I saw my first major league baseball game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds at Crosley Field. I was 13 years old and a big baseball fan. Stan Musial played left field that day, and I remember vividly Musial making a catch with his back flush against the wall. The Reds won 1-0 as Ewell "The Whip" Blackwell bested Harry "The Cat" Brecheen in a pitchers' duel.

During the 1952 season, I sent for Musial's autograph through the mail. He not only autographed my self-addressed postcard, but also sent me a glossy black and white, 5x7 autographed photograph of himself.

Musial was one of baseball's all-time great players and nice guys. Leo Durocher's famous quote, "Nice guys finish last," did not apply to Stan "The Man." His Hall of Fame statistics speak for themselves. Musial's greatness is sealed by his humility, which he maintained until the day he died.

All baseball fans who saw him play or know his history mourn his passing.

Paul L. Whiteley Sr.  •  Louisville, Ky.

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