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Musial: From Stash to Stan the Man (MISSOURI BIOGRAPHY SERIES) Hardcover – June 12, 2001

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

At Stan Musial's retirement ceremony, former baseball commissioner Ford Frick called the Cardinal standout "baseball's perfect warrior...baseball's perfect knight." That was a reasonable assessment of a man who was a career .331 hitter with some pop (and a single-season high of 39 home runs); who tirelessly signed autographs; who carefully concealed his occasional smoking, drinking, and off-color storytelling not to market an image but because he realized that he was a role model; and who took voluntary pay cuts in his declining years. Yet because of his low-key style and because he spent all of his 22-year career with St. Louis, a city that was away from the media glare and that for more than the last decade of his career failed to field a championship-caliber team, Musial usually took a back seat to such contemporaries as the prince of cool, Joe DiMaggio, and the controversial, sometimes obstreperous Ted Williams. And so it will probably be with historian Giglio's biography a good book (though perhaps a bit scholarly for the average fan) about a good man and player but one that will not make hearts race and may be widely overlooked. Recommended for medium to large public libraries. Jim Burns, Ottumwa P.L., IA
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

 

  “Musial was and still is the most beloved Cardinal. Here’s the full story of how one of the best sluggers and nicest guys in baseball history won both ballgames and the hearts of St. Louis fans.”—USA TODAY Baseball Weekly.

 

 

      “Musial should stand as the definitive biography of the great St. Louis Cardinal first baseman-outfielder. . . . Written by a leading historian of 20th-century America, this volume offers a fine examination of its subject and his era. . . . The research for this book is impeccable.”—Choice.

 

 

   “Stan Musial has had millions of words written about him, but nothing compares to this in-depth study of the person and his accomplishments. Giglio spent several years researching the available printed and manuscript sources and interviewed and corresponded with countless ballplayers, family members, and friends representing Musial’s entire history. He has dealt with both myth and reality and shed light on aspects of Musial’s life ignored or overlooked by previous biographers.”—Missouri Historical Review.

 

 

 

  “Giglio’s book allows us to see Musial as a more interesting person than [the one who] comes out of the much simpler and familiar legend, more complex than a one-dimensional figure. That, in turn, makes Musial’s accomplishments, both on the field and off, all the more remarkable.”—Cardinals Magazine.

 

 

 

  “This biography is an excellent example of solid and thorough research, smooth and lively writing, and critical analysis. Giglio has produced an intelligent baseball biography that offers much to historians of twentieth-century America.”—Journal of American History.

 

 



     “Musial should stand as the definitive biography of the great St. Louis Cardinal first baseman-outfielder. . . . Written by a leading historian of 20th-century America, this volume offers a fine examination of its subject and his era. . . . The research for this book is impeccable.”—Choice



     “Stan Musial has had millions of words written about him, but nothing compares to this in-depth study of the person and his accomplishments. Giglio spent several years researching the available printed and manuscript sources and interviewed and corresponded with countless ballplayers, family members, and friends representing Musial’s entire history. He has dealt with both myth and reality and shed light on aspects of Musial’s life ignored or overlooked by previous biographers.”—Missouri Historical Review



   “Giglio’s book allows us to see Musial as a more interesting person than [the one who] comes out of the much simpler and familiar legend, more complex than a one-dimensional figure. That, in turn, makes Musial’s accomplishments, both on the field and off, all the more remarkable.”—Cardinals Magazine



  “This biography is an excellent example of solid and thorough research, smooth and lively writing, and critical analysis. Giglio has produced an intelligent baseball biography that offers much to historians of twentieth-century America.”—Journal of American History

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Product Details

  • Series: MISSOURI BIOGRAPHY SERIES (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: University of Missouri (June 12, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826213367
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826213365
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,174,236 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A reader on December 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is head and shoulders above the average baseball biography. Most sports biographies fall into one of two categories: either they're superficial, hero-worshiping treatments that present the subject as a faultless paragon and give little space to anything other than the subject's on-field exploits, or they're efforts to tear down the hero image and dig up as much dirt on the athlete as possible.

Giglio's study of Musial avoids both these pitfalls. Since Giglio is a professional historian, rather than a sportswriter, he brings a historian's thoroughness and depth to his research on Musial. We learn a great deal about Musial's ethnic background, his family, and his personal attitudes and character. Although the author emphasizes what a genuinely good man Musial was and is, he presents a nuanced portrait that accepts and analyses his subject's faults and foibles as well as his many virtues.

Unfortunately, there are always a few hard-core sports fans who flee in horror from this kind of book. All they want to read about is their hero's exploits on the playing field. There are others who live and breathe statistics and sneer in contempt when a book about a baseball star isn't full of Sabrmetrics. It's true that this book is statistically unsophisticated, but the author makes no claims that he's writing that kind of book. This is a book about a MAN who PLAYED baseball-- not a "baseball book."

I give it a four-star rating only because the writing is at times a little dry and professorial--but only a little. This is a great read for anyone who dreams of getting to know a baseball immortal, and one of baseball's genuine gentlemen.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Skarpelos on August 30, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Giglio, a professional historian, spent many years researching his subject and produced, in my view, the first serious examination of Musial's life.
Given Musial's well-desrved reputation as a perfect gentleman and role model, many biographical accounts of his life slip into hagiography, but Giglio carefully avoids this trap. He cuts through much of the Musial mythology, and assesses the facts (laboriously compiled from archival research and interviews with many of Musial's contemporaries) in order to present Musial as a real human being.
You wont find much dirt in this book--Musial really was a good guy for the most part. About the only blemish Giglio uncovered from Musial's personal life was that he impregnated his wife 6 months before they were married--a mere peccadillo by contemporary standards, especially considering that Stan and Lil Musial have remained happily married for over 60 years.
Musial's only serious character flaw, according to Giglio, was an unwillingness to take provocative and controversial positions publicly on important issues of his time. For example, although Musial personally detested racism and bigotry, he never publicly condemned racist teammates like Enos Slaughter. According to at least one second-hand account, Musial and Slaughter once came to blows over the matter in private, but Giglio couldn't substantiate this, and publicly Musial has always denied that he and Slaughter, who died just a few weeks ago (12 August 2002), fought over the issue.
The only criticism I have of Giglio's book is his embarrassingly amateurish statistical analysis.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By JPM on June 9, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
James Giglio's recently released book on Stan "The Man" Musial is a winner in my opinion. Anyone can write a book quoting stats and on the field accomplishments, but Giglio goes back to the style that I most appreciate in a biography. He actually started at the beginning. Learning about Stan's childhood, his life in small town Pa. and his acsension into stardom was what I wanted when I bought this book. I always feel I know a little bit more about a person when I get to see what effects that person has had from events along the way. Certainly in Stan Musials case the depression, WWII, and the good years in the 50's and 60's shaped Stan into the man that he is.
I give the book 5 stars and ask Mr. Giglio to find another superstar from yesterday to write about.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mark Kratina on March 20, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book on probably the most underrated player in baseball history. I was astounded by some of the numbers Musial put up year in and year out- I knew he was good, but this book really did a good job of presenting his accompishments and his persona in an objective way.
This book would have been a 5-star except that the author was unable to collaborate with Musial (for some reason, Musial declined to meet with the author) which left me aspiring for something from Stan the Man himself.
However, even without Musial's cooperation, this book stands on its own. It does Musial justice in that it portrays him as one of the nicest and most genuine players in the history of the game. I do not think it tried to dig up dirt on Stan at all (as one previous reviewer stated); in fact, I don't think it could have been more complementary of Stan!
Though this book isn't one of the best baseball books I have ever read, I certainly think that it is a noteworthy accomplishment of a man who did not and maybe has still yet to receive his due. He is without question one of the top five greatest players in the history of the game, something which he is not always recognized for. I think baseball fans would enjoy this book on Stan Musial.
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