April 05, 2012

'Stan Musial' is a stand-up double

Maybe a triple. But not quite a home run. Maybe Stan Musial hasn't made more baseball fans' "cut" because he hasn't had better or deeper biographies. George Vecsey tries, but doesn't quite get all the way there. It seems like he just doesn't have as much "material" as a DiMaggio or Mantle book. I don't know whether that's from Stan playing in St. Louis, or something else, as Jane Leavey showed with Mantle and his background.

Heroes don't have to have feet of clay, but many do.

That said, Vecsey does show us that, at least in the case of Joe Garagiola, Stan could certainly bear a grudge. Was this the only case? I bet not; I would have liked to hear more.

And, Musial having Alzheimer's is mentioned almost in passing. How much do we know about this? Is he that aware that he won the Presidential Medal of Freedom?

Also, race issues. I don't think he was a racist, but did Musial hear what people like Curt Flood or Bob Gibson thought of him? Did he respond? I'd like to know.

I had heard this book was good, but not quite great. And so it is. Maybe a great one will come along, but I doubt it.

No comments: