Former MVP Marion dies at age 93

Former MVP Marion dies at age 93

Former MVP Marion dies at age 93
LAKELAND, Fla. -- The Cardinals announced on Wednesday that Marty Marion, a seven-time All-Star selection and the 1944 National League Most Valuable Player, died on Tuesday night at age 93 due to what the club called natural causes.

He is survived by his wife of 74 years, Mary, and their four daughters.

Marion, who resided in Ladue, Mo., played for the Cardinals from 1940-50, managed the Cardinals in '51 and was a player-manager for the St. Louis Browns in '52 and '53. He also managed the White Sox from 1954-56. He was known as "the Octopus" and was an unusually large man for a shortstop of his era.

A right-handed hitter, Marion was born in South Carolina in 1917 and signed with the Cardinals organization out of high school. He spent four seasons in the Cardinals' farm system before joining the big league club in 1940. Marion was the starting shortstop for the duration of one of the great eras in Cardinals history, playing for four pennant winners and three World Series champions.

After his playing career, Marion remained involved with the Cardinals. He was a part-owner of the stadium club at the previous Busch Stadium and often made appearances at the old ballpark.

"I played in the '40s and I played a few years, was in a few World Series, which is good," Marion said in 2005. "I'll never forget how rich I got the first year I played ball with the Cardinals. In 1940, my first year in the big leagues I made $5,000 -- five thousand dollars."

In 13 big league seasons, Marion was a career .263 hitter with a .323 on-base percentage and a .345 slugging percentage. He hit 36 home runs, drove in 624 runs and scored 602. He was the starting shortstop for the National League in five All-Star Games and, in addition to his 1944 MVP, he finished seventh in the voting in 1942 and eighth in 1945.

Marion was long a candidate for the Hall of Fame, receiving more than 30 percent of the votes in the Baseball Writers' Association of America balloting on seven different occasions, but he was never inducted. That remained something of a sore point for his supporters.

In addition to his playing skill, Marion was regarded as personable and funny.

"A gentleman," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said of Marion on Wednesday morning. "You talk to any of the veterans, they say what Red [Schoendienst] said about him, and Stan [Musial]. He was really, really good. "

Matthew Leach is a reporter for Read his blog, Obviously, You're Not a Golfer and follow him on Twitter at @MatthewHLeach. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.