MusialRIP

What It Took To Become The Man

1. Stan Musial passed away Saturday January 19th 2013 at the age of 92. I never saw a game that Stan Musial played in. Chances are if you're reading this article, you haven't either. Didn't stop him from being part of one of the most ridiculous lies I got away with in high school.



The Spice Girls were popular. And the hit single "Say You'll Be There" was climbing the charts.



One of Stan Musial's passions in life was the harmonica. Somehow this book should have been lampooned, but since it was Stan, we all contemplated starting harmonica playing… at least for a few seconds.



I convinced a few people that the harmonica solo (2:26 of this clip) was actually Mr. Musial. Told people to check out the liner notes in the CD if they didn't believe me. Eventually, I copped to the truth, but there is the distinct possibility that someone, somewhere still thinks that the Spice Girls had the want or need to feature Stan Musial in a pop song.



2. The reason anyone would believe something so asinine?



Because when it came to greatness, Musial didn't have limits to what was possible. 80 year old man teaming up with 5 British sex symbols for Billboard Hot 100 domination through a harmonica?



Hmmmm… WHY NOT?



Guy was the most under appreciated baseball player ever. Finally someone is trying to get him the recognition he deserved. Sporty Spice for mayor of St. Louis!



Eventually, Mr. Musial's greatness to St. Louis and the country was recognized by President Obama when he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in early 2011.



3. St. Louis was happy for Musial. The Cardinal backed 'Stand for Stan' was a success and we basked in the glow of our guy getting the love he deserved from places other than the Midwest.



But the honor was fait accompli for Cardinal Nation. Musial had been, is and will be the greatest of them all. The standard on and off the field that we judge all Cardinals by. 

It's wildly unfair to every single person that takes the field for the Cardinals, but it's not going to change. We've had the best and we've been spoiled. 
 
4. Musial's on-field greatness has been documented.
 
And as we work through the time from now to Opening Day where his memory will be honored, there will be time for people smarter than I to dig up amazing statistical nuggets.
 
The memory, though, that I'll remember most about Musial is the way he handled race relations in an career that began with Jackie Robinson's groundbreaking integration and ended with the Civil Rights strife of the 60s just beginning. 
 
He was an inclusive man when others of his stature weren't. Or at least weren't in public. Musial though, treated men like men and women like women.
 
Didn't matter what race, creed or color. Good people were good people. Sounds like a pretty simple concept in 2013, but there was a time when it wasn't. The reason equality has come so far in the past 50 years are guys like Stan Musial. 
 
5. Stan Musial launched a thousand doubles over his career. And when it was over, he launched a thousand more reasons to make him the unofficial ambassador for St. Louis.
 
The Baseball Gods are moving down a seat today to make room for their Crown Prince.
 
The Man isn't with us anymore, but his legacy will endure. 
 
athooks

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