One was born in St. Louis, the other became a star there.
“Talk about your odd couple,” said George Vecsey, the longtime sports columnist for the New York Times who wrote a recent biography of Musial.
Weaver was a 5-foot-6 rabble rouser whose penchant for quarreling with umpires belied a cerebral approach to managing that has stood the test of time. Musial was a humble slugger with a funky batting stance who was beloved by Cardinals fans and respected by pretty much everyone else.
A three-time MVP and seven-time National League batting champion, Musial helped the Cardinals win three World Series championships in the 1940s. His popularity in St. Louis can be measured by the not one, but two statues that stand in his honor outside Busch Stadium. After his death Saturday, Cardinals of more recent vintage began offering condolences almost immediately.
“Sad to hear about Stan the Man, it’s an honor to wear the same uniform,” said a message posted on the Twitter account of Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday.
Albert Pujols, who led St. Louis to World Series titles in 2006 and 2011 before leaving as a free agent before last season, offered prayers for Musial’s family via Twitter.
“I will cherish my friendship with Stan for as long as I live,” said a message posted on Pujols’ site. “Rest in Peace.”
Weaver was born in St. Louis, but his greatest success came as a manager in Baltimore. He took the Orioles to the World Series four times over 17 seasons, winning one title in 1970.
Never a fan of smallball strategies like bunting and stealing bases, Weaver preferred to wait for a three-run homer, always hoping for a big inning that could break the game open.