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Stan Musial: An American Life [Kindle Edition]

George Vecsey
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $6.01 (38%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Veteran sports journalist George Vecsey finally gives this twenty-time All-Star and St. Louis Cardinals icon the biographical treatment he deserves. Stan Musial is the definitive portrait of one of the game’s best-loved but most unappreciated legends—told through the remembrances of those who played beside, worked with, and covered “Stan the Man” over the course of his nearly seventy years in the national spotlight. Away from the diamond, Musial proved a savvy businessman and a model of humility and graciousness toward his many fans in St. Louis and around the world. From Keith Hernandez’s boyhood memories of Musial leaving tickets for him when the Cardinals were in San Francisco to the little-known story of Musial’s friendship with novelist James Michener, Vecsey weaves an intimate oral history around one of the great gentlemen of baseball’s Greatest Generation.

Editorial Reviews Review

A Look Inside Stan Musial


“Although Stan Musial is universally regarded as one of baseball's greatest players, he is nevertheless underrated. He played far from the national media spotlight, in America's best baseball city, St. Louis. (One reason it is the best: Musial played there.) And his amazing consistency--he got 1,815 hits on the road and 1,815 at home—made him unspectacularly spectacular.  Happily, and at long last, George Vecsey has taken Musial's measure in this delightful biography of a man and a baseball era.”
—George Will

“A fascinating and profound look at the most underrated great player of all time, and one of the true gentlemen of the game, Stan Musial. No one researches a book like George Vecsey. I learned something on every page.”
—Tim Kurkjian, Senior Writer for ESPN the Magazine and analyst for ESPN’s Baseball Tonight and SportsCenter

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

  • File Size: 7815 KB
  • Print Length: 416 pages
  • Publisher: ESPN; 1st edition (May 10, 2011)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004J4WLYG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #349,344 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Life and Times of the Donora Greyhound April 8, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I first started following professional baseball as a boy in 1969, six years after Stan Musial, Cardinal outfielder, first baseman, and hitter extraordinare, retired from the game. But as I listened to Pirate games on the radio, the Pirate announcers would still occasionally talk about Stan Musial whenever the Bucs would play the Cardinals, in respectful ... almost reverential tones. As I continued to learn about the game and some of its past heroes, Stan Musial, in my young mind, achieved near-mythical status, similar to Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Honus Wagner, and others. It also didn't hurt that he was also from Pennsylvania, only an hour or so from where I grew up.

As such, he's always been one of those ballplayers that I wanted to know more about. I knew about his statistics ... 3630 hits, .331 lifetime batting average, 475 home runs (in an era when 400 home runs really meant something), 3 Most Valuable Player awards, and so on, but I wanted to learn more than just the stats. So, I was happy to see this biography, "Stan Musial, An American Life", by George Vescey (a well known New York sportswriter, and the older brother of NBA analyst and sportswriter Peter Vescey).

The book isn't quite what I was expecting. It fully covers Stan's life from birth until today, and is full of anecdotes from his friends, families, and quotes from Stan, and attempts, with great success, to show how the boy he was developed into the man he is, warts (surprisingly few) and all. Where the book differed from my expectations is that while baseball is a central theme in the book, there is surprisingly little descriptive baseball in it.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Biography Of A Baseball Legend April 10, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Growing up as a very young child in New York in the 50s and early 60s, I was taught by my father, grandfather and aunts and uncles about the great baseball teams in New York at that time. Most of the family were Yankee fans. I grew up with talk of Gehrig, Rush, Dimaggio, Dickey and then current Yankees such as Mantle, Skowron, Ford, Martin, Bauer and Berra. When talk turned to other teams, it was usually the Giants or the Dodgers. I learned about Mays, Snider, Reese, Hodges, Robinson, Sal "the Barber" Maglie and greats like Ott, McGraw and Matthewson. The only other ballplayers I ever heard about were Feller (my dad saw him no-hit the Yankees), Ted Williams and Stan Musial.

Feller was respected (although I do not remember seeing him play) as was Williams. Williams was considered aloof and worst of all - a member of the Boston Red Sox. This is a biography of Stan Musial by New York sportswriter George Vecsey. He (Musial) was universally loved by my family and respected - for his play and his demeanor.

This book covers Stan from his modest childhood in Donora, PA. to his receiving the Medal Of Freedom from President Obama in February of this year. It obviously covers Stan's great career with the St. Louis Cardinals (one of the best in baseball history) and is full of non-baseball anecdotes which entertained and also educated me. Stan's business ventures are covered as well - and while I knew of the feud with another famous ballplayer - I now know why.

I had no idea what the "Donora Death Fog" was until this book. How hundreds became ill and over a dozen died in industrial smog in 1948. Stan's home town.
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48 of 54 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Account of Stan the Man April 23, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I really wanted to love this book. Though Stan Musial's playing days were long over when I began to learn about and love baseball, he was one of those greats whom I heard about when reading baseball histories and biographies. I especially wanted to like this book because the author, George Vecsey, has an obvious love and respect for his subject, Stan the Man, the Donora Greyhound. Unfortunately, Vecsey's writing leaves much to be desired. It is a times hokey, disjointed, and hardly what one would expect from a celebrated New York Times Sports Columnist. The biography flits around a bit too much as well. There are long chapters followed by one page chapters. If you are looking for a literary biography of Musial akin to When Pride Still Mattered: Lombardi, you will be sorely disappointed. This book has more of the flavor of a bunch of various anecdotes strung together. There isn't a wholeness to this book or integration like Maraniss' seminal biography of Lombardi. Certainly, I came away with a deeper appreciation for Musial and all he was and stood for but, simply put, the writing just is not that good. I pushed through less because the book engrossed me and more because I felt I needed to finish it to give a fair review. I will say that my overall assessment of the book was slightly better at the end than it was about a third of the way into the book. But that being said, if I could do half-stars I would give this a 2.5 rather than 3. Obviously, my assessment differs from most of the other Vine Reviewers, so take it with a grain of salt. But I still am convinced that this book is a disappointment.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great story of Stan The Man
Published 2 months ago by not dry idea
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Bio of Stan the Man
Good Bio of Stan the Man.
Published 2 months ago by J. Braddock
5.0 out of 5 stars In the spirit of Stan The Man.
This is an excellent bio of a guy who was rightly an American hero. Solid and well researched and well written. Kudos.
Published 3 months ago by Rusty7
4.0 out of 5 stars Readable, but not compelling
This bio lacks a spark, perhaps owing to the fact that Musial was simply a nice, ordinary guy, generous and private, as the author repeatedly points out. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Scott Albin
5.0 out of 5 stars Book arrived in great condition. For my wife
Book arrived in great condition. For my wife, she is a huge Cardinals and Stan fan. Will have to let her review after she reads it.
Published 4 months ago by slsmith69
4.0 out of 5 stars again not much insight into Musial the player, however ...
again not much insight into Musial the player, however i have not finished the book yet too much history of Donoa.
Published 5 months ago by iferrara
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love the book. Excellent transaction
Published 5 months ago by Rich Boucher
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read
What a great read. Stan the Man was a credit to the game of baseball. How refreshing to read about a sports icon who was so appreciative of the privilege to play the game. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A humble man
Very inspiring
Published 7 months ago by Michael Connor
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book about a great man who also happened to be a great...
A great book about a great man who also happened to be a great ballplayer. You want stats? Well, they are mentioned in passing in this book. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Dan
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