23 June 2014

memorial patches for stan the man

stan musial passed away at the age of 92 in january, 2013.  the cardinals wore a memorial patch that featured his number 6 and facsimile signature during the entire 2013 season.  the patch first started to show up on 2013 topps update cards, like this carlos beltran card
and we see it quite often on 2014 cards, too.  like jaime garcia's 2014 topps card
or jon jay's 2014 topps card
where we see it on both jay's and matt holliday's left sleeve

here it is on pete kozma's 2014 topps gypsy queen card, too.
it is worth noting that the cardinals wore three different jersey types during the season, and as a result, there were three different colored patches.  therefore, i have three different cards in my memorials collection.

actually, there are 4 cards in my collection, as this 2013 bowman draft picks and prospects card of ricardo bautista
shows the patch being worn in at least some of the cardinals' minor league games (he played in their gulf coast rookie league - gcrl for short).  the patch is also on the right sleeve, but in the majors, it was worn on the left sleeve.

speaking of the big leagues, david freese's 2014 topps card represents the away grays
matt carpenter's 2014 topps opening day card represents the alternate cream jerseys
and yadier molina's 2014 topps card represents the home whites.
musial may not be as well remembered nationally due to having spent his entire career in the midwest with the cardinals, but keep in mind that when he retired, only ty cobb had more career hits and only babe ruth, cap anson, and lou gehrig had driven in more runs.  musial was a three-time mvp who finished second in the balloting four times, won seven batting titles, and led the cardinals to three straight world series, and four in five years during the 1940's.  the only year in that run that the cardinals missed the fall classic was the year that musial spent in the military.

every once in a while when the dodgers were playing the cardinals, i recall vin scully telling a story about musial, and after musial died scully again addressed his recollection of the cardinal hall of famer: 'he was good enough to take your breath away'.  and certainly good enough to be remembered beyond memorial patches, although i am glad that the cardinals wore them.

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