Bob Broeg, 87, a longtime St. Louis sportswriter who was credited with giving Stan Musial the nickname "Stan the Man," died Oct. 28 of pneumonia at a hospital in Creve Coeur, Mo.
Mr. Broeg, who was elected to the writers' wing of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979, joined the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in 1945, covering the old St. Louis Browns. He began to cover the St. Louis Cardinals in 1946, the year they won the World Series. He was named sports editor of the Post-Dispatch in 1958.
He came up with the nickname for Musial, the Cardinals' mid-century star player, after he was told that Brooklyn Dodgers fans would murmur "here comes the man" whenever Musial came to bat at Ebbets Field.
Mr. Broeg wrote 20 books on sports, including a biography of Musial, and gained a national audience through his writings for the Sporting News magazine. He retired officially in 1985 but wrote occasional columns for the Post-Dispatch until last year. He is said to have written more for the Post-Dispatch than any other writer in the paper's history, according to a former managing editor, David Lipman.
In addition to his election to the Baseball Hall of Fame, he was honored by the Baseball Writers Association of America for his contributions to the craft. Two scholarships at his alma mater, the University of Missouri, bear his name.
Mr. Broeg was born in St. Louis. At his birth, he received an eye injury from the careless use of forceps that caused him to have blurred vision in one eye. In the past five years, he had lost his eyesight completely.
He attended his first baseball game when he was 9 and began writing about sports in elementary school. After college, he worked in Boston for the Associated Press and for the old St. Louis Star-Times before joining the Post-Dispatch.
He was known for his encyclopedic knowledge of baseball history and could recount the details of every Cardinals World Series game from the first, in 1926, through 2004.
"You know what I'd like more than a couple of hours talking baseball with Bob Broeg?" Hall of Fame player Ted Williams once said. "A couple of days."
In 1951, St. Louis Browns owner Bill Veeck told Mr. Broeg over a beer that he planned to use a midget in a game the following day. Mr. Broeg made sure the Post-Dispatch had a photographer at the game to record the lone at-bat of 3-foot-7 Eddie Gaedel, who walked on four pitches.
Mr. Broeg, known for his infectious laugh and trove of baseball stories, also had a stern temper and wasn't afraid to confront baseball players, managers and fans when he thought they were out of line. He once threw his typewriter across the newsroom floor at the Post-Dispatch in a fit.
Besides baseball, he covered University of Missouri football, which he loved almost as much as the Cardinals.
Survivors include his wife, Lynette Broeg; two stepchildren; and a brother.