(BaseballStL) -- I've thought this, said this, expressed this to anyone who would listen over the last who knows how many years. If Stan Musial had played in New York or Los Angeles, heck maybe even Boston, he'd be viewed as easily a top five player of all time.
Quite possibly even top three.
It's one of the unfortunate realities in sports these days that until someone passes away and everyone remembers their life, they can be overlooked. But once they die, and all their numbers and achievements are rehashed, it creates a situation where many learn something they never knew.
I can't even begin to imagine the number of twenty-something baseball fans on the east and west coast who may not have even heard of Stan Musial prior to last week. But in light of his death, they now have no choice but to consume every last statistic he put forth.
Seven batting titles? Please. No one outside of St. Louis knew that unless they worked in baseball.
24 All-Star games? Ditto.
17 straight seasons of hitting better than .300? A career .331 hitter? Precisely 1,815 hits at home and 1,815 hits on the road?
I'm not going to name the elite guys in baseball history and point out the things they didn't do that Stan did. It's not really fair, it's subjective, and it's really splitting hairs over what superstar is better than another.
But there is no denying the fact many outstanding players have gotten the recognition they deserve as a result from being in bigger, more highly publicized markets.
Stan Musial did not get that luxury. He "only" played in St. Louis. Had he not? Had he donned the pinstripes for two decades and had the exact same career? He'd be a legend across the United States like he always has been in St. Louis.