Stan Musial Passes

I don’t really have much to say about the death of Stan Musial at age 92, but I will pass on one anecdote from Jim Brosnan’s 1960 classic The Long Season.

Brosnan wrote that most major league hitters with whom he played tended to ask what they were doing wrong as hitters when they went into slumps.  However, when Brosnan was traded from the Cubs to the Cardinals, the first thing that Musial wanted to know from Brosnan was how the Cubs’ pitchers were pitching to Musial.  In Brosnan’s opinion, this was one of the reasons Musial was the only $100,000 salaried player in the National League at the time.

Thanks to video tape and books like Brosnan’s, major league hitters are more aware today how pitchers are trying to exploit their weaknesses as hitters.  Even so, media reports on hitters trying to break out of slumps still focus on what the hitters are doing in terms of their stances, where they stand in the batters’ box, their timing mechanisms, etc. to get their strokes back.

Part of this is likely comes from the fact that hitters don’t want to tell pitchers through the media that they have figured out what pitchers are doing to get them out and have adjusted accordingly.  However, for many young hitters in particular, there is probably still a tendency to look at slumps as something the hitter is doing wrong instead of how the pitchers, with the help of advance scouts, are working to set up and exploit that hitter’s weaknesses.  The sophomore slump that so many young hitters hit in their second or third professional season is just as real today as it’s ever been.

Explore posts in the same categories: Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals

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