It was an exercise in futility for Topps to get him to sign a baseball card contract so they could use his picture on its new bubble gum cards, but Stan Musial was no stranger to the camera. One of the most photographed players of the 1950s, Musial often flashed his famous grin while lensmen captured him posing with the bats he used to torment National League pitchers.
The Sporting News was located in St. Louis and the “baseball bible” had easy access to Sportsman’s Park. The RMY Auctions Photo of the Day originated in the TSN archives. The 4×6” photo shows Musial posed on a sunny afternoon with the scoreboard in the background. It’s one of more than 400 historic images on the auction block through Saturday at RMYAuctions.com.
The back carries The Sporting News’ stamp and a partial stamp from the photographer who snapped the image.
While the Cards finished third in the National League under manager Eddie Stanky, the 31-year-old Musial was brilliant. He played in all 154 games, leading the league in runs, hits, doubles, batting average, slugging, OPS, OPS+ and total bases. His relatively pedestrian 21 homers and 94 RBI are likely the reasons he finished fifth in the MVP race. Maybe the writers who voted were just tired of Stan. He’d won the award twice and finished second three times in the five previous seasons.