After Stan Musial again rejected the owner’s proposal, Breadon called the response, “a disappointment”. He tells Musial, “it is impossible to consider the sum you ask for 1943,” and process to blast the young star.
“You will have no more to do this year than you had last year. I thought you were the kind of ballplayer that gave all you had in every ballgame. Of course we expect the same in 1943, if you sign a contract with us.”
In his final paragraph, Breadon makes his strongest push, writing, “We could write letters until the end of the season and get no place, therefore, I suggest that you come to St. Louis, and if you do not sign a contract, and want to stay out of baseball in 1943, we will pay for your round-trip expenses.”
The Cardinals signed Musial $6,250, a full $750 more than Breadon offered. Musial rewarded the team by leading the league in hits, doubles, triples, total bases, batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage.
At season’s end Stan Musial was named the National League’s Most Valuable Player. That’s quite a bargain for $6,250.
I’m not even a Cardinals fan (I’m a Cubs fan) and I think Breadon should be in the Hall of Fame, no doubt about it. And I think that eventually he will be.
As a Cubs fan that’s big of you, Steve. Let’s hope Mr. Breadon gets in!
Fascinating exchange, the economic dynamic of the times was certainly an interesting piece of history. I looked up that address on Google, the Cardinals spelled his address incorrectly, it is actually McKean.