stands baseball’s perfect warrior. Here stands baseball’s perfect knight.”
quote, from former MLB commissioner Ford Frick, is engraved on the bottom of
the Stan Musial statue outside of the left-field entrance to Busch Stadium.
Truer words have never been spoken.
Saturday, Stanley “Stan” Frank Musial passed away at the age of 92. Musial, a
Hall of Famer, is viewed as the greatest to ever wear a St. Louis Cardinals
on numbers and accolades alone, Stan “The Man” is one of the greatest to ever
pick up a baseball bat.
his 22-year career with the Cardinals, Musial totaled 3,630 hits—still fourth
of all time—475 home runs and appeared in a record twenty-four all-star games.
was the first National League player to win three MVP awards, finishing 2nd
four times and gathering seven batting titles.
master of consistency, Musial ended his career with the same number of hits at
home, 1,815, as he had in away games. Musial never struck out more than 40
times in a season until he was 41 years old.
announcer Vin Scully once said about Musial, “How good was Musial? He was good
enough to take your breath away.”
Stan Musial died on January 19th, 2013.
Photo courtesy of Bowman Gum.
and statistics are great, but what really set Musial apart from other
professional athletes was that his character and integrity outshined his gift
of hitting a baseball.
Musial’s funeral, this past Saturday, Bob Costas gave a touching eulogy on his
experiences with Musial. Costas recalled having a conversation with Yankees
legend, Mickey Mantle.
was a better player than me because he's a better man than me,” Mantle said.
a sports world where cheating and lying is the norm, Musial was truly void of
any controversy in his playing career and after retirement.
about baseball, he was just a solid human being,” said Hall of Famer Hank
married his high school sweetheart, Lil, and stayed married for more than 70
years until Lil’s death this past May.
the prime of his playing career, Musial decided to assist his country by
joining the United States Navy, serving for one year and missing the 1945
kindness showed through when signing autographs. He would sign every single
ball, photo or piece of paper until each person received an autograph.
smile brightened up the whole room, and the harmonica he played from time to
time put smiles on the faces of all those around him.
matrimony between the city of St. Louis and Musial was a match made in baseball
heaven. In a city where fans love their baseball players more than some family
members, Musial loved the fans to an equal extent.
its tribute to Musial, Sports Illustrated
had a quote that didn’t have an origin, but its message is the best way to sum
up the bond between St. Louis and Musial: "It seemed that Musial hadn't
simply come to St. Louis, but that Rockwell had painted him there.”
is the famous painter who portrayed the classic American lifestyle in his art.
quote is basically saying that Stan Musial is as synonymous with St. Louis as
America is with apple pie.
passing was so sad for friends because he wasn’t just a role model for baseball
players; he was an example of how to be an outstanding individual.
was, in every sense of the saying, the man.