Bizarre Baseball Culture: True Comics #78 has a Stan Musial Biography

In Bizarre Baseball Culture, I take a look at some of the more unusual places where baseball has reared it’s head in pop culture and fiction.

A shorter one today, as we go back to bio-comics, this time looking at Stan Musial. Now, I’ve done a bio-comic before, but this one is different because it’s from a different era- the Golden Age of Comics! To be more specific, it’s from True Comics #78, in August 1949, from “Parents Magazine”. This is from the late Golden Age, a time where super-hero comics were in a low period and were being replaced by crime, horror and romance comics, no doubt leading to good wholesome fun like this to held up as being the last bastions of innocent virtue in comics.

But I digress. Here’s the part of the comic with Stan on it:

Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 12.01.23 PM

You can see it here, as it is in the Public Domain. Go below the jump for more:

We don’t know anything about who drew or wrote this- not uncommon for some Golden Age publishers. The first thing we see is basically a bigger version of the cover image, only with an additional text on how the road to stardom is never easy, etc.

Screen Shot 2014-11-22 at 11.01.25 AM

We begin with him joining the Cardinals organization (despite his father’s objections), where he was initially a pitcher. After troubles, he is considering whether he is made for professional baseball. This is, like, in the first two panels. Compare to how in the Ripken bio-comic there were a few pages of him as a youth. That’s the difference between an entire comic and one six-page story.

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 12.06.31 PMStan starts to pitch really well (it’s true: in 1940 he went 18-5 with a 2.62 ERA in Daytona Beach), but then suffers an injury in the field:

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 12.13.32 PM

You can probably guess what happened next (especially since, you know, it’s actually what happened): Stan never regained his good pitching, but improved as a hitter, so he started moving up the Cardinals’ ranks before finally making it all the way to Cardinals, and apparently his dad changed his tune:

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 12.38.11 PMThat would have been in the 1941 season. At which point… they basically jump and condense the next several years:

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 12.45.04 PMThey basically just did the 1942 season in one line and then pretend that he missed 1943, ’44 and ’45 to WWII. Actually, the only season Stan Musial missed due to the war was 1945. Whoops.

Oh, and they also show a guy sliding into first base here:

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 12.53.43 PMAnyway, in 1947, Stan has an off-year initially, and, SHOCK! It turns out it’s an inflamed appendix! But don’t worry, the team doctor tells him to keep playing:

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 12.55.49 PM

(The true story, per SABR, is that Dr. Hyland was able to “freeze” the appendix, making it less inflamed and allowing him to keep playing)

Musial then proceeds to, in his own words (his actual words were different, but go with me), have a crappy year. Well, a crappy year for him. He still hit .312. This is even made fun of in the comic itself.

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 12.59.59 PMThe comic ends with Musial having a great day in 1948 against the Dodgers, and then, finally, has a image of him being carried off on the shoulders of his teammates.

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 8.00.19 PMJeez, I hate these biocomics. I don’t think I’m going to do them anymore. They are boring.


But, don’t worry, because next time on the Baseball Continuum… STRANGE SPORTS STORIES.

Get hype.

Previously on BIzarre Baseball Culture:

Prologue: “Rockets on the Mound” (short story)

1: Captain Marvel teaches baseball to Martians

2: Fantom of the Fair and exploding baseballs

3: Doll Man fights the Baseball Bandits

4: Tony Stark- Baseball Fan

5: The Other Guys

6: The Little Wise Guys and the Absent-Minded Natural

7. Pokémon: “The Double Trouble Header”

8. Dash Dartwell’s PED use for justice

9. The Shield and the Ballpark Murders

10. 2007′s Triple-A Baseball Heroes

11. 2008′s Triple-A Baseball Heroes

12. The Batman and Cal Ripken join forces

13. Sub-Zero and Blasted Bulbs

14. “Pinky at the Bat”

15. How To Play Baseball 

16. Action Comics #50

17. Superman Adventures #13

18. Billy the Marlin (guest-starring Spider-Man)

19. Brittle Innings by Michael Bishop

20. Shortstop Squad

21. Cosmic Slam

22. Thanksgiving Doubleheader (Dick Blaze and Franklin Richards)

23. Mariners Mojo

24. Ozzie Smith and Tony the Tiger

25. 25th Installment!

26. Stuart Taylor travels through time

27. Captain America in “Death Loads the Bases”

28. Captain America in “High Heat”

29. Spider-Man, Uncle Ben, and the Mets

30. Green Arrow and Elongated Man

31. Hideki Matsui’s Godzilla Cameo

32. Mr. Go

33. Captain Marvel, Tawky Tawny, and the Tigers

34. Cal Ripken Jr. Bio-Comic

35. Simpsons Comics #120 

36. Dick Cole

37. The 2001 NY Yankees (and Cal Ripken) in “Championship Challenge”

38. “It’s Tokyo, Charlie Brown!”

39. Stan Musial Bio-Comic (you are here)






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