There are plenty of talented baseball players out there and more than a couple that play better than Stan Musial did, but it is incredibly difficult to find a single one rising to his moral stature. With the Hall of Famer passing away at 92 years old, the funeral and memorial that was held outside Busch Stadium drew huge crowds. Some of those who saw him in action more than 60 years ago came to pay their respects, but most of the attendees were young people. This says a great deal about the kind of appreciation that this legendary player still enjoys, and fully justifies the nickname Stan the Man.
He was a batting champion 47 times and although he lacked the same achievements as his famous counterparts Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle or Willy Mays, is just as important as any of them. Those who knew him and saw him play, said that this was one of the few players who didn’t let people down both on and off the pitch. The area where the funeral was held was full of modern baseball celebrities, with Tony La Russa, Joe Torre, Albert Pujols, baseball Commissioner Bud Selig or Whitey Herzog being just a few of those who attended.
They all appreciate Stan Musial, and if it is one quality that the baseball player is still remembered for then this has to be his common sense and decency. He was one of the first players to embrace the idea of having African American players on the pitch and didn’t frown upon the concept even in the early stages when it was very unpopular. While not necessarily an achievement that is frequently talked about when discussing stats and personal records, it is nothing short of amazing that Musial was never ejected from a baseball game over his lengthy career.
While the funeral brought together people who love Stan Musial and various celebrities, it was consistent with Stan’s way of living. People recounted memorable or funny things from Stan’s life and the audience got the chance to remember the deceased for his best moments. Two statues depicting him exist outside Busch Stadium and these were covered in flowers, teddy bears, helmets, and balloons. Stan the Man might be gone, but the things he stood for linger on and he remains one of the few ballplayers who can inspire the young generation.