Saying Goodbye To Stan Musial
By Mary Miller Cullins
I was at a friend’s house this past weekend and decided to check in on my Facebook friends from my phone. It was surreal, the first 20 posts I read revealed that Cardinal favorite, Stan Musial, #6, had passed away, just hours earlier. I was sick, in shock if you will. Although I didn’t personally know Mr. Musial, I felt like I’d lost an old friend.
Musial retired in 1963, two years before I was born. The fact that he spent his 22-year career here in St. Louis and didn’t retire until his 43rd birthday is amazing! I never saw the man play, but enjoyed highlights of his career ever since I could say baseball. Although his public appearances have been rare in recent years, I was lucky to wave at him as he rode past me during the festivities at Busch Stadium after the 2011 World Series Parade!
He never struck out more than 50 times a season, he led the league in most every hitting category for at least a year, he was the NL MVP in 1943, 1946, and 1948, he was runner-up four other years, he was the epitome of a true athlete. This does not even begin to describe him as a man. A good, kind, caring man. He is described by Willie Mays as “a true gentleman who understood the race thing and did all he could. He used to take care of me at All-Star Games, all 24 of them.” Again, amazing.
As Cardinal Nation mourns the loss of a true baseball hero, we will never forget the memories and the notoriety “Stan The Man” gave to our town. It was evident recently, when we all came together and “stood” for Stan, hoping he would receive the Presidential Medal Of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor for contributions to society. Well, we know what happened. He received the award from President Obama, who said, “Stan remains to this day an icon untarnished, a beloved pillar of the community, a gentlemen you’d want your kids to emulate.” So true!
The public visitation for Stan Musial is planned to run from 2:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. tomorrow at the Cathedral Basilica on Lindell Blvd. It will be our last chance honor Stan The Man. No cameras will be allowed inside the cathedral. After Mass Saturday (Mass is closed to the public), the funeral procession will follow immediately, making a stop at the Musial statue at Busch Stadium.
Stan The Man
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