Each Friday, I present the fans of Cardinal Nation with a list of facts and trivia clues to see if they can dig into their memories and tell me the Redbird that I am talking about. I try to find players and people that you will know, but combine that with obscure facts and attempt to show you something you didn’t know about someone who is well known. This week I am going to take a different approach to the column. There is going to be no question as to who I am talking about. This column will be a more of an honoring and recognition of someone that was near and dear to the Cardinal family.
Last night, May 3rd, at 6:00pm the entire Cardinal Nation lost a beloved member of its family. Lillian Musial passed away at the age of 91 years young. Lillian was the wife of Baseball’s Perfect Warrior, The Man, Stan Musial. The Musial’s grandson noted that she passed away on her favorite number, #6. The jersey number of Stan Musial.
The Musial’s were married on May 25, 1940 in Daytona Beach. The Musial’s had met six years earlier in 1934. Lillian’s father had taken her to watch a Donora Zincs baseball game. There was a 15 year old, curly haired boy pitching that day for the Zincs, Stan Musial. As the story goes, Lillian was smitten with the young hurler. They would become high school sweethearts and then marry when Stan was playing minor league ball.
It would not truly be possible to put into words what Stan Musial means to the Cardinals, Cardinal fans, the city of St. Louis and Major League Baseball. It also would not be possible to put into words what Lillian meant to Stan Musial. There are so many photographs of Stan going over to the stands to give his bride a kiss or giving her a bouquet of flowers. When Stan wasn’t on the field you would be hard pressed to find a time that Lillian wasn’t at his side. It was a love affair that lasted almost 72 years.
Lillian was very active in the community and charity work. She was heavily involved in the Cardinals Pinch Hitter Group and recently the Covenant House to help runaway girls and the homeless.
The Cardinal’s Chairman, Bill DeWitt Jr, issued the following statement in regard to her passing, “We have lost a valued member of the Cardinals family,” Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said. “Lil was the love of Stan’s life — a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She was a remarkable woman who touched the lives of so many people.
“From her selfless work in organizing the Cardinals Pinch Hitters group to her more recent efforts to help homeless, runaway girls with the Covenant House, Lil was always helping others. The entire Cardinals organization extends its sincere condolences to Stan, their children Richard, Gerry, Janet and Jean, and their 11 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.”
So as far as the “Who am I?” portion of this column, Mrs. Musial we know who you are. We thank you for your efforts during your lifetime to the community and the Cardinal organization. We also thank you for sharing your husband for so many years with us. Our hats in our hand and our hearts heavy, we here at Redbird Rants offer our deepest condolences to the entire Musial family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you as we say good bye to a large portion of the Cardinal family. Rest in peace Lillian Musial.