Stan Musial, the soul of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball franchise and the City's favorite son, will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom early next year. The announcement was made the White House and echoed happily by every citizen of Cardinal Nation (which certainly includes every resident of the City of St. Louis).
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is given "for especially meritorious contribution (in) cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."That seems to be a citation written to describe Mr. Musial's life.
Stan Musial is a three-time baseball MVP. He holds the Cardinals' club records for hits, home runs and RBIs. At the time of his retirement in 1963, he held more than a dozen major league records.
Since his retirement from baseball, Stan has been a major (and supremely accessible) presence in our community. Like many St. Louisans, I treasure a Stan Musial autograph. His manners are lesson for every public figure; his generosity with his time and attention has benefited hundreds of civic endeavors. Mostly recently, he lent his name and prestige to an ambitious effort to refurbish Soldiers Memorial on behalf of the veterans it salutes.
I was one of one of the many people who were proud to Stand For Stan in the Cardinals' campaign to win him this recognition. Next year, we will be joined by millions more as Stan The Man Musial receives his well-deserved medal.