OUR STORY TAKES US BACK TO ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI ON THIS DATE IN 1958. Stan Musial of the St. Louis Cardinals became the highest paid player in National League history. Stan “The Man” gratefully stroked his signature across a contract worth $100,000. Musial was being richly rewarded for winning his seventh batting title in 1957 with a .357 average. He drove in more than 100 runs for the tenth time in his career. The Associated Press reported that only Ted Williams of the American League’s Boston Red Sox probably makes more at an estimated $125,000.
The Cardinals made it clear they wanted Stan to stick around. According to the Associated Press the 37-year old former outfielder who now plays first base, told reporters, ”Baseball has rewarded me richly, and the Cardinals have always treated me more than fairly, this year in particular. I would have settled for less.”
Musial went on to hit .337 in 1958. He would play six more seasons, finishing with a lifetime .331 average. He was not considered a home run hitter, but hit over 30 six times and finished with 475 for his career.
Stan Musial was named to 24 all-star teams (there were two all-star games some years back then). The man richly rewarded with the biggest contract in National League history, was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1969.
Associated Press, January 30, 1958