April 13, 2012; St. Louis, MO. USA; St. Louis Cardinals hall of famer Stan Musial waves to the crowd during an opening day ceremony before a game against the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium. Chicago defeated St. Louis 9-5. Image Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
It’s been one year since we lost the face of the St. Louis Cardinals, Stan Musial, on the same day as St. Louis native Earl Weaver, the Hall of Fame manager of the Baltimore Orioles, passed away
Musial’s final appearance at Busch Stadium came during the National League Championship Series, which did not receive quality treatment by Fox during their telecast of the pregame activities.
Musial’s passing had come prior to the season that would have marked 50 years since he played his last baseball game in 1963. He had played his last World Series in 1946 after coming back from serving in the military during the 1945 season. After Musial retired, the Cardinals would go on to win the World Series the next year in 1964. He would have a hand with the World Champions in 1967, serving as the GM but came to the realization that being a baseball executive was not for him.
I feel now, as I did a year ago, that the perfect tribute would have been to name the field at Busch Stadium after the Cardinals icon. I feel it would have served a better tribute than just a patch on the uniforms and the wall. But I’ll settle for the Musial Bridge although I’ll never be able to cross said bridge since I take I-64 to get to St. Louis.
For reading on Musial’s life, his own autobiographies (1964 and 1977 update) written with Bob Broeg are out of print. However, George Vecsey’s biographical portrait, Stan Musial: An American Life is the closest book that there is to a definitive biography, even if it is unauthorized.
The Man, as was coined by Brooklyn Dodgers fans as he terrorized pitching at Ebbets Field (163 games, 223 hits, 37 home runs, 141 runs, 126 RBIs, .359/.448/.660), may be gone but never forgotten.