Stan the Man Musial passed away this week. That is a big deal here in St. Louis. I am not originally from St. Louis and I am not a huge baseball fan. But I have become acquainted with what Stan Musial means to St. Louis, an incredible baseball city.
The wake honoring his life is happening today, January 24, 2013. The news was on the television in the waiting room at my office. Every now and then I’d catch an update about the length of the wait to view his body. During the day the wait was 15-30 minutes. But this evening, after people were off work, the line stretched down the block. And this is occurring in frigid temperatures.
But people are standing and waiting and shuffling forward on frozen feet because he was an icon here in Cardinal Nation. And isn’t it great to be a part of honoring a life well-lived.
Of course it is.
We didn’t go into the city to go to the wake. We are not the most avid of fans. We can’t admit it too loudly for we have friends that have Cardinal rooms in their homes! We like the Cardinals, we follow the team in a general way. And we appreciate Stan’s contribution to the game and the city. But we are not there. We are home, snug and warm and quiet.
But we have spoken of him and our hearts are warmed by the throngs that have taken the time to pay tribute to a man they did not wait for his death to honor. He has received rousing ovations every time he visited Busch Stadium over the past decades. He is spoken of often, quoted frequently, remembered fondly. And those memories will remain.
His accomplishments will be revisited every time the Cardinals have a reason to do so. And it doesn’t take much of a reason to remember and speak of Stan the Man.
My facebook newsreel has exploded with tributes to the man, Stan. And there are many quotes, but I must say I love this line by Bob Costas about Stan Musial: “All Musial represents is more than two decades of sustained excellence and complete decency as a human being.” – Sportscaster Bob Costas in ESPN SportsCentury (ESPN).
I join my voice with theirs honoring the man who is a legend, but always appeared extremely humble and kind. Well done, Stan. Well done.