Stan Musial always did things his way. From retiring as the St. Louis Cardinals’ general manager after just one (championship) season in 1967 to being the best harmonica player in the Hall of Fame, he was always interesting.
On May 13, 1958, Musial added a few footnotes to the 3,000 hit club when he slammed a double of Moe Drabowsky at Wrigley Field to reach one of baseball’s magical milestones. Musial was the first player to get #3,000 as a pinch-hitter and the first to do it with an extra base hit.
The Photo of the Day from RMY Auctions is an original news photo of Musial at the moment his bat made contact that afternoon against the Cubs. The horizontal 6 ½ x 9 ¼” image carries a stamped date on the back to indicate the date the photo was filed in a newspaper archive and a caption on the front.
Musial, in his 17th season, was just the eighth man to reach 3,000 at the time. He’d finish his career with 3,630, the most by any player in National League history until he was passed by Hank Aaron and Pete Rose.
Musial had hoped to reach the milestone at home but with the Cards trailing 3-1 and a man on base with one out, manager Fred Hutchinson reluctantly called for his ace hitter. His hit started a rally that propelled St. Louis to a 5-3 win.
The Cardinals took the train back home from Chicago and at two stops in Illinois, fans turned out to cheer. Nearly 1,000 people came to the train station in St. Louis late that evening to greet Musial and the Cards as they returned from Chicago that night.
“I never realized that batting a little ball around could cause so much commotion,”Musial told them. “I know now how (Charles) Lindbergh must have felt when he returned to St. Louis.”
The next night he was back in the starting lineup and in his first at-bat, belted a home run for hit number 3,001.