On May 13, 1958, Stan Musial came off the bench to hit a 6th inning double and become only the 8th man with 3,000 hits in major league baseball history. After reaching 2,999 hits the day before, Musial started the game on the bench. The plan was for the Cardinal star to get his magic hit before a hometown crowd the next day.
With the Cardinals down 3-1 and a runner on 2nd base in the 6th, that plan went out the window. Musial was called upon to pinch-hit against Moe Drabowsky and delivered a double to the left field corner. A ceremony was held on the field to commemorate the moment and Musial was removed for a pinch-runner. His wife Lillian was in attendance behind the Cardinals dugout.
After the game, Musial joined Jack Brickhouse on the WGN-TV “10th Inning Show” and told him that he had been pressing and “was anxious to get this 3,00th hit and get it over with. I was just hoping to hit the ball.” As for whether he was trying to tie the game with a homer, Musial said, “No siree, I went for a base hit. It was a curve ball going away. I swung and the next thing I knew I was on second base with a double.”
*Musial is the only member of the 3,000 hit club to get his milestone as a pinch-hitter.
*5,692 fans were in attendance at Wrigley that day.
*Musial got his 1,000th hit at Wrigley Field on April 24, 1948 off Cliff Chambers.
*He finished his career with 3,630 hits, 1,815 at home and 1,815 on the road.
*Cardinal fans heard the big moment on the radio called by a game named Harry Caray.
*21 years later on August 13, 1979, fellow Cardinal Lou Brock got his 3,000th hit against the Cubs at Busch Stadium.
– Bob Vorwald