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01-20-2013, 09:13 PM
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Apologies for taking so long guys. I work for MLSE and so I've been busy with the Raptors and preparations for tomorrow night's Leafs home opener.

With the sixteenth overall pick in the 2013 HF Boards All-Time Draft the Montreal Expos are pleased to select, from Donora High School in Donora, Pennsylvania, Stanley Frank Musial.

Considered by many to be the greatest player in St. Louis Cardinals franchise history, and a notoriously underrated player for 22 productive seasons, Stan Musial was one of the most consistent offensive performers in the history of Major League Baseball. He was known for his unwavering year-by-year reliability, which he rode to seven National League batting titles and a lifetime .331 batting average. His 3,630 career hits rank fourth on the all-time list and, appropriately as ever for the reliable Musial, he compiled an equal number of hits at home as he did on the road (1,815 apiece). Six times he would lead the league in hits and six times he would eclipse 200 hits or greater in a season.

Musial was a two-time Major League Player of the Year in 1946 and 1951, and was one of the most popular players to have ever worn the red and white of the St. Louis Cardinals. Known as Stan The Man, Musial was a humble, industrious player who made those around him better, to quote the oft-used cliche (applicable in his case), and spurred St. Louis to four World Series appearances and three championships between 1942 and 1946. He missed the entirety of the 1945 season due to his military obligations during the Second World War, a civic duty that almost certainly cost him his opportunity at 500 home runs. Nonetheless, his 475 career total is impressive when one considers just how well-rounded and multi-versatile a hitter Musial was: he hit 177 triples during his career and an astonishing 725 doubles, ranking third on the all-time category for two-baggers.

Although Musial was a three-time MVP selection, tied with several other legendary greats for second-most all-time, there was an air of under-appreciation about his career from certain quarters in the media. Perhaps it was the fact that he did everything well, but never once led the league in home runs, only once finishing second. He certainly wasn't flashy, but his career has taken on a greater appreciation in contemporary times with the introductions of advanced statistical metrics. Musial is a Sabrematician's dream. He ranks ninth all-time in total wins above replacement amongst positional players, and twelfth overall if pitchers are included. JAWS statistical evaluation considers him the third-best right-fielder of all-time behind only Ruth and Aaron (although he spent the plurality of his career at first). Musial led the league in slugging six times, on-base percentage six times, and OPS (OBP + SLG) a remarkable seven times. He also appeared in a record twenty four Major League All-Star Games (including when the season held two events for a brief period) illustrating his appreciation from the fans.

Musial is by acclamation one of the most talented players to have ever played the game. Unfortunately, he passed away last night at the age of 92. He will ultimately be remembered for his unparalleled consistency, class, integrity, and disciplined approach to the art of hitting, and for the pride he took in honouring the history of the Cardinals organization.

Edit: I probably went overboard with the rationale for the pick but I love baseball history too much to keep it concise for my first pick. Plus Musial is one of my all-time personal favourite players so I had to do him justice in defending the selection.

Last edited by JaysCyYoung: 01-20-2013 at 10:03 PM.
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