Stan Musial Baseball Cards

Stan Musial was one of the greatest hitters in baseball history. Over his 22 year career with the St. Louis Cardinals, Musial had seven NL batting titles with 3,630 hits, 1,951 runs batted in, 475 home runs, and a .331 batting average.

He was born in Pennsylvania in 1920, and he died in 2013. He showed early promise in early schooling with baseball and basketball. He was in high school when he signed his first contract in 1938. Setback by soreness, he switched from pitcher to outfielder in the minor leagues.

Musial joined the Cardinals in 1941, and he was an important part of the Cardinals’ 1942 World Series win. The next season, Musial won his first of three NL MVPs at the age of 22. After the Cardinals won another World Series, Musial enlisted in the Navy for World War II.

He came back swinging, and Musial accomplished a great deal. The Cardinals won a third World Series in 1946. His best season came in 1948 when he had 230 hits, 135 runs, 131 runs batted in, and a batting average of .376. He was awarded his third NL MVP. He finished one home run short of the Triple Crown.

For the remainder of his career, the Cardinals often struggled while Musial continued to perform exceptionally. He led the league in hits once, runs three times, and batting average four times. He retired in 1963 in second place for many hitting records to Ty Cobb, and Musial held 29 National League and 17 MLB records at the time. He worked as an executive for the Cardinals for several years, and he had one year as GM in 1967. The Cardinals won the World Series that year.

Musial was smoothly inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1969. He played in 24 All-Star Games which is tied with Hank Aaron and Willie Mays. MLB named him to the All-Century Team in 1999.

Musial retired into various businesses, such as restaurants, and he was often praised for his exceptional harmonica skills. He died in 2013, and family, friends, coworkers, and fans fondly remember him for his modesty and sportsmanship.

Musial has several great cards, and he was playing in an important era of trading cards. Though his early years are largely missed, Musial is on several important sets in the 1950s. This article will help summarize a few of them.

1948 Leaf Stan Musial Rookie Card

This is the most important Musial card. He is depicted in the midst of his batting swing in Cardinal’s uniform. There is a blue background, a light grey border, and his name alone captions the colorized photo.

The 1948 Leaf is a major set due to its players, colorization, and status as one of two major sets from a several year period, and Musial is a key to the set. There are 98 cards in the set, and they measure 2 ⅜” x 2 ⅞. The set uses skip numbering in which it is numbered to 168 with only 98 cards. Musial is at #4. There are several short prints on the set, and luckily for collectors who need a 1948 Leaf Musial, Musial is not a short print.

Musial’s card has 800 copies registered by PSA, and three of those cards are PSA Mint 9. PSA 9’s have sold for $175,000 in 2017, $312,000 in 2018, and $264,000 later in 2018. PSA 8’s have sold for between $19,000 and $26,000 since 2018. Prices fall slowly from there, and to buy a card worth about $1,000, collectors need to drop to a PSA 4.

1948 Bowman Stan Musial Rookie Card

The 1948 Bowman is the lesser of two Stan Musial rookie cards. Like the 1948 Leaf, this set has many great rookie cards because it is the other major set produced in years due to World War II. The card has a simple design of a black and white photograph with no caption. There are 48 cards that measure 2 1/16” x 2 ½”. Musial sits at card #36.

There are more versions of this rookie card on the secondary market than the Leaf. There are 1,500 cards registered by PSA, which include one Gem Mint card and 15 Mint cards. The Gem Mint card sold for $360,000 in 2017. Mint cards have been somewhat unstable for the last decade. Mint cards rose steadily to over $20,000 in 2015. Prices spiked up to 45 thousand, but since 2018, prices started to drop. The most recent sale was for $20,400 in July of 2019. For a card worth around $1,000 dollars, there are PSA 6’s available.

1949 Bowman Stan Musial

Bowman is an important producer of Musial cards. They are the only major distributor in 1949, 1952, and 1953 for Musial cards. There are no major cards from 1954-1957.

The 1949 set has 240 cards that measure 2 1/16” x 2 ½”, and Musial is at #24. The colorized photo shows Musial in batting stance against a purple background with no caption.

There are well over 800 copies registered by PSA, and 10 of those are Mint copies. There were only a few sales of Mint copies. Between 2006 and 2015, Mint copies sold for between $3,900 to $6,635.

1954-1957 Stan Musial Baseball Cards

While Musial had an exclusive contract with Bowman, the trading card company left the industry in 1953. There was no major card representing Musial from Topps for four years. Musial’s absence was a mystery for years. In 2001, Sy Berger, the legendary Topps executive, said in an interview with USA Today that Musial, “just didn’t want to sign for cards.” Musial caved when Topps offered $1,500 to charity if Musial agreed to sign.

1958 Topps Stan Musial

This is the first depiction of Musial on a Topps card. Musial’s card features his All Star selection. He is shown with a bright smile. There are 494 cards of standard size in this set, and Musial is at #476.

There are over three thousand copies of Musial’s card registered by PSA. 22 of those are Mint condition. Mint cards have come close to $1,000 in recent years, while PSA 7’s fall to $50 or less.

The 1958 Topps Stan Musial is a good option for a cheaper option. Though it is later in his career, it is an important option as his Topps debut.


This article is not exhaustive, and there are a few more valuable cards out there. Including a couple more Bowman cards and a few more Topps, there are also minor brands from the period like Berk Ross and Red Man Tobacco which are even more affordable. This article covered the most important cards.

MVPs, records, and World Series titles, Musial had a long and storied career. Hopefully, you agree that his cards do his career justice in commemoration.