Musial and Weaver will be sorely missed.

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Scott Pitoniak

Jan 21, 2013, 8:46:22 AM1/21/13
Had the opportunity to interview both Stan Musial and Earl Weaver a few times through the years, and they both lived up to their reputations. Stan the Man was as gracious and kind as advertised, a real salt-of-the-earth guy. And the Earl of Baltimore was a tad cantankerous, but still managed to spin some interesting tales. (Ones, I might add, that were peppered with expletives that were a colorful part of Earl’s vocabulary.)

Both Baseball Hall of Famers, who died over the weekend, once donned the Red Wings flannels, and remain two of the franchise’s most beloved alums.

While researching Silver Seasons, the history of the Wings that I co-wrote with Jim Mandelaro, I came across an interesting anecdote about Musial’s Rochester arrival. After stashing his paper bagful of clothes and personal belongings into his locker (he was too poor to afford a suitcase), Musial pulled on his uniform and headed for the batting cage.  The young hitter with the awkward-looking, corkscrew stance lashed line drives all over the field. But a big-league scout was unimpressed. He turned to Wings manager Tony Kaufmann, shook his head disapprovingly and said: “He’ll never make it up there. Not with that stance, he won’t.”

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