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Baseball Hall of Famer Stan Musial Dies at 92

Baseball Hall of Famer Stan Musial pretends to swing a bat before the start of the opening day baseball game between the San Diego Padres and Cardinals, in St. Louis, Missouri, March 31, 2011.
Legendary American Major League Baseball star Stan Musial has died at the age of 92.

Known as "Stan the Man," Musial played his entire 22-year career with the St. Louis Cardinals beginning in 1941. He missed the 1945 season to serve in the U.S. Navy in the final year of World War II.

Musial, who was honored by President Barack Obama in 2011 with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, was adored by his many fans for his humility and kindness as well as his baseball prowess.

When he retired in 1963, Musial held 17 major league records, making him an easy first-ballot inductee to the Baseball Hall of Fame. He won seven National League batting titles, was named Most Valuable Player three times, helped St. Louis win three World Series titles in the 1940s, and played in 24 All-Star games. Musial became baseball's first $100,000 player - his 1957 salary.

His wife of more than 70 years, Lillian, died last year. Musial died Saturday of natural causes.

A pitcher in the minor leagues, Musial became an outfielder when he entered the majors. He had an unusual batting stance, crouching with his knees together. That stance led to a lofty career .331 batting average, including a career high .376 in 1948. One year earlier, Musial openly supported Jackie Robinson when he broke the racial barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Musial is widely considered the greatest player in the history of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.