On this date 52 years ago, the undesputed greatest Cardinals player of all-time, Stan Musial, asked the team to decrease his pay from $100,000 a season to $80,000.
After hitting .337 in 1958, Musial sagged to .255 at the age of 38 in 1959. Newspaper and magazine reports at the time speculated that Stan the Man was washed up and that he should retire. But Musial hit .275 in 1960, .288 in 1961 and .330 in 1962.
Musial retired with a .331 batting average, 475 homers and 1951 runs batted in, some of the best career numbers in baseball's history. If he would have retired after the 1958 season, he would have totaled 398 homers, 1,634 RBIs and an eye-popping .340 batting average.
To put it in persepective, Albert Pujols tied Musial at .331 through his age 28 season. Since then his batting average has sagged to .328 for his career. At the point Albert Pujols stands at now, Musial was a .345 hitter with a .432 on base percentage and an average of 28 strikeouts a season. Pujols has a .420 on base percentage and averages 67 strikeouts a year.