Cardinals' tribute to Donora's Musial may interest even Bucs fans
Normally, Pittsburgh Pirates fans would not have much use for the St. Louis Cardinals' yearbook — especially since the National League champions ended the Bucs' best season in 21 years this fall in the playoffs.
However, the Cards' 2013 yearbook is a must-have publication for fans of the late Donora baseball legend Stan Musial.
The 248-page magazine dedicates 175 pages to the Hall of Famer and is titled “Stan Musial The Man and His Times: The Definitive Celebration of Stan Musial's Hall of Fame Career.”
Each of his 23 years playing for the Cardinals is explored through editorial and photographs.
Musial played for the Cardinals from 1941 through 1963 and was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in his first year of eligibility in 1969, receiving 93 percent of the votes.
He won seven National League batting championships, three Most Valuable Player awards and helped the Cardinals win three World Series and four National League pennants. He retired with a .331 career batting average, 475 home runs, 3,630 hits, 1,949 runs scored, 177 triples, 725 doubles and 1,951 runs batted in. He batted higher than .300 in 17 seasons and competed in 23 All-Star games.
Musial passed away Jan. 19, and the magazine captures many significant chapters of his life following baseball such as his Hall of Fame induction, his Oct. 20, 1963, retirement dinner in St. Louis' Chasse-Park Plaza Hotel and the Busch Stadium statue dedication in August 1968.
“His 92-year excursion through life is one of grace and aplomb, and his roots come from our Mon Valley,” said Stephen V. Russell, general chairman of the Mid Mon Valley Sports Hall of Fame (MMVASHOF) and author of the Mid Mon Valley All Sports Hall of Fame Biographical Journal. “Stan is recognized as the greatest Cardinal of them all, celebrated with each successive generation.”
Copies of the tribute-yearbook can be ordered by mail at Cardinal Publications, 700 Clark St., St. Louis, MO 63102; by calling 312-345-9303; or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brownsville High School graduate Doug Dascenzo is the new third base coach for the Atlanta Braves.
Dascenzo, 49, replaces Brian Snitker, who was named manager of the Braves' Triple-A Gwinnett farm team. He had been the Braves' third base coach for the past seven seasons.
According to Atlanta general manager Frank Wren, Dascenzo will also fill a need on the staff coaching outfielders and base-running. Dascenzo was the Braves' minor league roving outfield and base-running instructor each of the past two years.
“Base-running covers our entire team, and Doug has done a tremendous job the last couple of years since he has been here,” Wren said. “So he was a natural fit. He has great experience coaching third.”
A collegiate star outfielder at Oklahoma State University, Dascenzo played for the Chicago Cubs from 1988 through 1992 and the Texas Rangers in 1993 before finishing his major league playing career with the San Diego Padres in 1996.
Dascenzo played in 540 games and finished with five home runs, 10 triples, 49 stolen bases, 156 runs scored, 90 RBI, 103 walks, 287 hits, and a .234 career batting average. From 1990-92 in Chicago, he played in 113, 118, and 139 games for the Cubs, respectively.
He began his major league career by playing in a then-National League record 241 consecutive games without making an error. The streak spanned from his debut in 1988 to the 1991 season, when he committed his first error in a game on Aug. 25.
During the 1990 and 1991 seasons with the Cubs, Dascenzo made a total of four appearances as a relief pitcher. He pitched for a total of five innings, giving up three hits, two bases on balls, and achieving two strikeouts.
In 2006, he managed the Padres' Eugene (Ore.) Emeralds of the Northwest League to a 43-44 fininsh before being promoted to manager of the Fort Wayne (Ind.) Wizards in 2007. He guided that squad to the Midwest League championship in 2009.
That following December, Dascenzo was named the manager of the Class AA San Antonio Missions of the Texas League and was named league Manager of the Year in 2011 when the team won the title. He joined the Braves organization in October 2011.
This past season, the Braves won the National League East Division championship with a 96-66 overall record before losing the National League Divisional Series to the Los Angeles Dodgers, three games to one.
Bruce Wald is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.