Stan Musial to appear in Springfield, April 2

It's two weeks until the new Class AA Springfield Cardinals take to Hammons Field for two exhibition games against the St. Louis Cardinals. But a different team was called Springfield Cardinals back in the 1930s and '40s.

The Springfield Cardinals were a Class C team at a time when the minor league structure was different and major league teams had more minor league affiliates than they do now. The Springfield Cardinals were here in 1932 and from 1935-42, playing at White City Ballpark at the corner of Boonville Avenue at Division Street, where the Assemblies of God now has its international headquarters.

St. Louis Cardinals Stan Musial, a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, is the city's most famous former minor leaguer. He played in Springfield for 87 games in 1941 on his way up to the St. Louis Cardinals. Other Springfield Cardinals who became major league stars include Joe Garagiola, Paul "Daffy" Dean, Mickey Owen (later long-time Greene County sheriff), Walker Cooper and Mort Cooper.

Musial will appear in Springfield on April 2 before the first exhibition game. The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, just east of Springfield, will honor the former player with a sculpture called "the boy and the man." Before that's unveiled, he'll sign autographs at the Hall of Fame beginning at 10:15 that morning. The new sculpture will be unveiled after that.

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