Marty Marion: 1917-2011

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Marty Marion, an eight-time All-Star who spent 11 seasons as the Cardinals’ starting shortstop and won the NL MVP in 1944, has passed away at age 94.

Marion’s reputation was always much bigger than his numbers, even during his MVP season, as he hit just .267 with six homers and a .686 OPS that ranked 64th in the league. Despite that he beat out various sluggers, including teammate Stan Musial, and also finished among the top 10 in MVP voting with similarly modest numbers in 1942 and 1945.

Nicknamed “The Octopus” for his prowess defensively, Marion was one of the first “big” shortstops at 6-foot-2 and 175 pounds. In fact, prior to his debut in 1940 there were just three shortstops in baseball history listed as taller than six feet.

St. Louis had zero losing seasons with Marion at shortstop and won three World Series titles.