The offices of Stan the Man Inc. are closing, after nearly 25 years of handling the late Hall of Famer’s autographs and memorabilia.
The company, run by Dick Zitzmann who was Musial’s business agent, has nearly run out of the remaining stock of Musial signed items and the remaining inventory is being moved to a warehouse.
Friday was to be its last day of operation at a building on Des Peres Road.
Musial spent years coming into the office on a daily basis to sign autographs, penning his name on thousands of baseballs, jerseys, photographs, bats, baseball cards and other items. It was part of his the daily routine he loved in later life. A creature of habit, Musial was at the office from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. each day until just weeks before he died at age 92 on January 19, 2013.
Zitzman told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that interest and sales of Musial memorabilia stayed so strong in the two years after his death that they have very little left to sell.
“I’m out of bats, balls, jerseys and caps,” said Zitzmann, who told the newspaper that his inventory included 6,000-7,000 signed baseballs when Musial died, but over two years, the supply steadily decreased, much of it purchased by dealers. One St. Louis customer bought over 500 bats.
While Musial signed thousands of free autographs for fans over the years, the autograph business was good to him. Zitzmann says Musial made a six figure yearly income from signing autographs, more than he made as a player. He attended card shows until traveling became too difficult, making good money while reveling in the attention of fans who appreciated his good nature and were in awe of his long Hall of Fame career.
Zitzmann will continue the company to manage royalty agreements for the use of Musial’s name or likeness. He says he might have enough inventory to last a few more months.
Musial autographs can still be found online with more than 400 different items available on Amazon.com alone.