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On This Date in Sports May 13, 1958: Stan 3K

Stan Musial of the St. Louis Cardinals becomes the eighth member of the 3,000-hit club. Appearing as a pinch hitter for pitcher Sam Jones, Musial collected an RBI double off Moe Drabowsky as the Cardinals staged a four-run rally in the sixth inning at Wrigley Field in a 5-3 win over the Chicago Cubs. Musial would retire in 1963 with 3,630 hits setting a new National League record.

Born on November 21, 1920, in Donora, Pennsylvania, Stan Musial immediately became a star when he joined the St. Louis Cardinals at the end of the 1941 season. In his first three full seasons, Musial helped lead the Cardinals to National League Pennants as the Cardinals won the World Series in 1942 and 1944. Musial won the first of three MVP awards in 1943, leading the league in hitting a .357. After spending the 1945 season in the military, Musial won a second MVP award, leading the Cardinals to another World Championship. Stan Musial would add a third MVP award in 1948 as he had a career-high .376 average and 131 RBI.

Throughout his 22-year career, Stan Musial was one of the most respected players in baseball. Fans in Brooklyn bestowed his famous nickname “Stan the Man,” saying “Here Comes that Man” every time he came to the plate against the Dodgers at Ebbets Field. Musial was one of the best hitters of his generation, winning seven batting titles and posting a career average of .331.

Entering a Tuesday game at Wrigley Field against the Chicago Cubs, Stan Musial was given the day off by Fred Hutchinson, as he needed just one hit to reach the 3,000-hit plateau. The Cubs, with Moe Drabowsky, held a 3-1 lead after five innings. Gene Green led off the sixth with a double for St. Louis. After Hal Smith grounded out, Stan Musial was sent to pinch hit for pitcher Sam Jones. Musial ripped a double to make it 3-2, becoming the youngest player ever to reach 3,000 hits at the age of 37. Pinch-runner Frank Barnes would replace Musial. After Dick Schofield Sr. walked, the Cardinals tied the game on a single by Don Blasingame. Joe Cunningham was intentionally walked to set up a double play. However, Irv Noren beat the throw to first, allowing Schofield to score the go-ahead run. Wally Moon would double home the fifth run as the Cardinals went on to win 5-3.

Stan Musial would finish third in the National League, hitting an average of .337. Musial would play until the end of the 1963 season, collecting 3,630 hits. When he retired, he was the National League’s All-Time leader in base hits. Musial still ranks fourth all-time, behind Pete Rose, Ty Cobb, and Hank Aaron. One of the most consistent hitters of all time, Musial had an equal amount with 1,815 hits at Sportsmen’s Park in St. Louis and 1,815 on the road.