Little League International Mourns the Passing of Stan Musial and Earl Weaver
Little League International mourns the passing yesterday of two greats of the game: Stan Musial and Earl Weaver.
Mr. Musial was one of Little League's greatest friends, and one of the greatest baseball players in history.
He was a driving force, along with his late friend Ed Piszek, behind Little League establishing a regional center in Kutno, Poland -- part of a lifelong passion for supporting Polish-American causes. The two stadiums at the Little League European Region Training Center in Kutno are named for Mr. Piszek, who founded Mrs. Paul's Kitchens, and Mr. Musial.
"More than just a great baseball player, Stan Musial was a great humanitarian," Steve Keener, President and Chief Executive Officer of Little League Baseball and Softball, said. "We are all fortunate that he was a friend of Little League for so many years."
Starting out as a pitcher, Stan Musial transitioned to the outfield, and the rest was history. He ended his career with a .331 batting average and as the National League's career best in RBI, games played, runs scored, hits and doubles. He played his last game nearly a half-century ago, yet currently ranks fourth in total hits, behind only Pete Rose, Ty Cobb and Hank Aaron.
Despite the fact that he was devastating to National League pitchers (1,815 hits at home, and exactly the same number of hits on the road), Mr. Musial was universally respected. He spent his entire career with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Mr. Musial might have reached the 500 home run plateau as well, had he not volunteered in the U.S. Navy during World War II at the height of his career. In 1969, he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on the first ballot.
Mr. Musial was always willling to help the causes of Little League. He made appearances at the Little League Baseball World Series, at the Little League International Congress, and at events in Poland, to help raise awareness for the efforts to build the regional center in Kutno. During these events, he entertained and amused crowds with his trademark harmonica.
Mr. Weaver, also a Baseball Hall of Famer, managed the Baltimore Orioles for 17 years and had a record of 1,480 wins and 1,060 losses. The Orioles won four pennants under his leadership, and a World Series in 1970.
Mr. Weaver was in the broadcast booth for the Little League Baseball World Series at Howard J. Lamade Stadium in 1983-'84 as an announcer for ABC's Wide World of Sports.
One of the most feared hitters in baseball history, Stan Musial was also one of the most liked and respected gentlemen of the game.
Always willing to help Little League, Stan Musial was a guest of honor in 2000 in Kutno, Poland, when the stadium that bears his name was dedicated at the Little League European Leadership Training Center. Here, Little League President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Keener introduces Mr. Musial to the crowd in Kutno.
Earl Weaver attended the Little League Baseball World Series twice. In this photo from 1983, he shares the ABC Wide World of Sports broadcast booth with Hall of Famer Jim Palmer. Mr. Palmer was Mr. Weaver’s most dominant pitcher on the Orioles.