Stan the Man

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Stan the Man

Postby okdoak » February 2nd, 2013, 1:45 am

The legendary Stan Musial passed away recently and in my mind closed the book on the truly great hitters of the 1940s. Much more has been written about his contemporaries, Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams, but Stan ruled the NL the way they did the AL. Maybe it was because he seemed more like a regular guy and kept a lower profile than they did explains why Stan didn't get that amount of press after he retired. John Updike didn't write a classic account of his last game and he wasn't immortalized in a song lyric by Simon and Garfunkel. There didn't seem to be that cult of personality about him like there was with the aloof and unapproachable DiMaggio or the blustery and outspoken Williams. He just seemed like a genuinely nice guy, always smiling on his baseball cards. He did have a big impact on glove design, though. The story goes that Stan wanted a glove he could use in the outfield as well as at first base, so Rawlings created the six finger Trapeze for him. His signature was on the earlier popular Rawlings Playmaker models as well. I found a few pictures of him and his gloves and had to include one of his classic batting stance, as unique as the Man himself was.

Stan with a 40s H-web:
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His 1951 Berk Ross card:

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Looks like a HOH version of his popular SM6:

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Trapeze with a web controller :shock:

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Re: Stan the Man

Postby okdoak » February 2nd, 2013, 2:05 am

Rawlings brought back the 3 finger style glove with their Playmaker and Stan's signature was on a whole line of them.

From 1954:
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The boxes were terrific too. These are from the galleries on JD's site:

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The TG12 was a great glove, too:

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His unique stance was stamped in the pocket of the PMM and PML Playmaker:

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Re: Stan the Man

Postby softball66 » February 2nd, 2013, 9:13 am

Stan was Mickey Mantle's hero, as to many a fan who grew up in the South and Southwest who could pick up St. Louis ' KMOX all power 50,000 watts station at night. (read John Grisham's "A Painted House." When Mantle went in to talk glove endorsement with Rawlings, he told the Rawlings exec., "I want the same deal Stan Musial gets." Stan attended Mantles funeral in Dallas, out of mutual respect.
I have lost the picture take of Stan and I at a show and made by Bob Gibson (no, not that one), in a hilarious signing story. Doggone. I've seen more than a few of Stan's retail gloves and a couple of his gamers.
Great pictures too Greg. Thanks for bringing up "The MAN!" :wink:
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Re: Stan the Man

Postby orangekrate » February 13th, 2013, 10:04 am

Like a number of other HOFers, Stan the Man spent a bit of time here in AAA Rochester. Other "cup of coffee"-ers here include Cal Ripken Jr. (and Sr.), Bob Gibson, Boog Powell, Don Baylor, Red Schoendienst, Johnny Mize, Kenny Boyer, Luke Easter, Tim McCarver, and a bunch of others.
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Stan Musial, ca. 1941, Rochester Red Wings
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Re: Stan the Man

Postby mikesglove » January 22nd, 2017, 4:26 pm

Nice photo of Musial during spring training in 1942 with a Rawlings H-web model glove. It was Musial's first full season. That was a popular glove at the time. Hank Greenberg also used that model H-web glove right before he left for the Service.
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Re: Stan the Man

Postby mikesglove » January 23rd, 2017, 12:07 pm

okdoak wrote:Trapeze with a web controller :shock:

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The photo that Greg posted is an AP wire photo from May 1958. Musial's six finger glove in the foreground is two years before Rawlings introduced the TG12 Trapeze model. So, the glove in the foreground is a prototype Rawlings made up for Musial. Greg mentions the web controller. That alone does seem interesting. It appears Rawlings put together a mash-up of a trapper and a fielders glove for Musial to try out. Below is a close-up view of the glove/mitt. One other thing I noticed is the lacing at the crotch between the finger stalls. What is up with that?

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I remembered an auction 5 years ago for a Rawlings prototype glove that clears that up, at least for me. The glove below shows the lacing between the finger stalls clearly.
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The glove has the same style web controller.
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The photo below shows the reason for the low finger stall lacing. The front of the glove is all pocket with four stubby 2" long fingers. The extra lacing is used to give the pocket some definition. This would have been one strange glove in 1958. Rawlings eventually refined the design into the popular TG12 Trapeze model in 1960.
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Re: Stan the Man

Postby Number9 » January 23rd, 2017, 4:19 pm

That's pretty cool, Mike. I don't dabble in modern gloves at all, except to use them, but that is very interesting. I love the hybrid palm.
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Re: Stan the Man

Postby ebbets55 » January 23rd, 2017, 4:30 pm

That stubby finger model looks very similar to the Akadema Reptilian.

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Re: Stan the Man

Postby mikesglove » January 24th, 2017, 5:57 am

Yeah, that's the one. It is supposedly a popular softball glove.
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Here is the Akadema patent document from 2002. Notice the red arrow citing a previous patent.
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Here is the previous patent, Harry latina's 1958 glove/mitt design for Rawlings. pretty cool! It looks like they eliminated the
web controller after experimentation. I looked and looked for a game photo of Musial as first baseman with this glove but no luck so far.
Hope to find one.
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Re: Stan the Man

Postby vintagebrett » January 26th, 2017, 10:48 am

That's a cool find Mike - thanks for sharing!
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Re: Stan the Man

Postby mikesglove » March 4th, 2017, 4:24 pm

Besides the prototype glove/mitt, Rawlings also supplied Musial with a standard base mitt as he was transitioning to a first baseman from the outfield. Below is a Sporting News photo from spring training 1958 featuring Musial with a Rawlings representative.
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Re: Stan the Man

Postby okdoak » April 9th, 2017, 9:13 pm

Nice research on that Rawlings prototype, Mike. Neat to know the story behind that glove.
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Re: Stan the Man

Postby mikesglove » May 14th, 2017, 3:46 pm

here is another photo of Musial during spring training in the early 1960's. I think Rawling's designer Harry Latina is in the right background. The glove at Musial's foot has got one strange web.
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Below is a reorientation of the photo to get a clearer sense of the webbing. It looks like a prototype X-web glove Rawlings was experimenting with prior to introducing the "Double X Web" models or the "Big Wheel" web. Too bad the hat is there. I would love to see what the whole web looked like.
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Re: Stan the Man

Postby mikesglove » May 23rd, 2017, 1:47 pm

I did a little more digging and the glove at Musial's foot may be a prototype for a later Rawlings model with a "Fly Trap" web. It has interlocking diagonal straps.
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A later version was dubbed the "Fly Trap II"
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