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In such swashbuckling company, Stan Musial seems pleasantly out of placeliving proof that nice guys do not necessarily finish last. Nobody has ever seen him sulk or throw a tantrum. Unlike Ruth, he has never punched a cop. Unlike Cobb, he has never attacked a crippled heckler in the stands. Unlike Wagner, he has never stuffed a ball into a base runner's teeth. He is, says ex-Teammate Joe Garagiola, a "saint with money." Only once, in 1959, has he openly disputed an umpire's call. The ump's reaction was hilarioushe gaped at Musial, then whirled and thumbed Cardinal Manager Solly Hemus, standing silently to one side, out of the game. In the locker room, a cigar clamped in his caramel-tan face, Musial keeps things relaxed with an endless supply of gentle practical jokes and good-humored cracks. He once told John F. Kennedy: "They tell me I'm too old to play baseball and you're too young to be President. We ought to get together." Playing for Fun. A onetime pitcher who learned to spin a southpaw curve on the sooty sidewalks of Donora, Pa., Musial could, if he chose, retire with honor and security. He has never haggled over money: when he signed the National League's first $100,000 contract in 1958, he was frankly embarrassed. "I would have settled for less," he told reporters, "but this is the contract the Cardinals wanted me to have." The Cards still pay Musial $65,000 a year, and Stan has stashed enough of it away to own shares of a restaurant, a bowling alley, a bank or two or three, and a bulging portfolio of stocks. His income from all sources approaches $200,000 a year.
But Musial is more ballplayer than businessman, and the game, after all the years, is still fun. "I know a lot of players dislike the life, the traveling," he says. "But I like everything about it. I just enjoy being a big-league ballplayer."