Musial was one of those players who transcended team. He played on the Cardinals for all of his 22 years in baseball, but was universally respected. Like Christy Mathewson, Lou Gehrig, and Henry Aaron, Musial was one of the good guys…a great player and a great human being. ABC wrote
No last name necessary.
A slew of batting titles. Corkscrew stance. Humble. A gentleman. All-around good guy.
Stan the Man.
Musial’s friend Bob Costas gave the eulogy at his funeral. He said,
“What was the hook with Stan Musial other than the distinctive stance and the role of one of baseball’s best hitters?” Costas said. “It seems that all Stan had going for him was more than two decades of sustained excellence as a ballplayer and more than nine decades as a thoroughly decent human being.”
Costas went on to tell about the two aspects of Musial’s life…his baseball and his decency.
I remember watching Musial play against the Cubs in the 50s and early 60s. I remember my dad (a Cub fan) talking about “Stan the Man” and how good he was: 3630 lifetime hits, a lifetime .331 batting average, 475 home runs, and a .989 fielding average. Musial was a great ballplayer…7 batting titles, 3-time National League MVP and 24 all star games.
The eulogy linked below is about 20 minutes long and is a great tribute to a great ball player. If that’s too long for non-baseball fans among you then skip to the second video below where Costas, a guest on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, tells a story that epitomizes the kind of person Musial was.
Here stands baseball’s perfect warrior. Here stands baseball’s perfect knight.” — Quote inscribed on the base of Musial’s statue, attributed to former commissioner Ford Frick.
Costas, a guest on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.