The "Stand for Stan" campaign calls for Stan Musial to be honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. (Source: SI)

A Stand for Stan: Musial for Presidential Medal of Freedom


Stan Musial is one of the true heroes of baseball. He was not only a Hall of Fame player, but also a great human being. His charming personality has touched so many lives over the years and made him into a larger than life persona in St. Louis. The kind and humble Musial has made an impact on Americans for years both on the field and off of it. His achievements and his personality has made him a candidate for the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which is the highest and most prestigious honor that can be given to a civilian in the United States of America.

The campaign for Musial, titled “Stand for Stan,” was in the spotlight yesterday with 101 ESPN’s special one-day tribute “A Stand for Stan.” 101 ESPN broadcast all day in downtown St. Louis with special guests and activities for fans. Fans signed the Cardinals petition for the award and created their own video messages about Musial. The day certainly showed how much the St. Louis community loves Musial and that means more than even the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

It may be the highest honor for a civilian, but a day like yesterday is just as nice. Only a man, Musial is adored like a god. He means something to so many people, even people who will never know him. That is an honor that few people ever receive. The love for Musial goes beyond baseball. He made a difference in the community.

Whether he deserves the medal or not, I don’t know. It’s quite an honor. And while the case for Musial is a strong one — baseball great, military service, consultant to President Lyndon B. Johnson, and overall great guy — it may not be the strongest. [...]

Berry Tramel shows why Musial is not the most deserving ballplayer from his era to receive the award. While Musial was a hero of his and clearly one of the all-time greats, Hank Greenberg deserves it more. Greenberg served more in the military than Musial and lost more than any other player of the era while serving the country. He also had to deal with prejudice as a Jewish baseball star. And Greenberg did it all honorably. He had to fight for peace at war and in his personal life and still remained a great guy like Musial.

Stan Musial will always be the man. But in this case, Hammerin’ Hank is the deserving man for the honor.

And from all the stories about Musial, I’m sure Stan the Man would be the first to sign the petition for Hank Greenberg to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously.

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