Baseball fans all,

For most, today is the day we remember that President Kennedy was shot and killed.  It is also, however, the day that Stan Musial was born…   and today The Man celebrates his 90th as the newly named recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom…

Stan The Man follows DiMaggio, Williams, Clemente, Frank and Jackie Robinson and Buck O’Neil in receiving the honor… and likely is being so honored only because the owner of the Cardinals mounted an overt effort utilizing the social media, pressure on the US Senators in Missouri and neighboring Illinois, and a educational cartoon character called Flat Stan.

For me, the pride of a small coal mining town in Pennsylvania, takes on even a more personal appeal.  He was Mother’s all-time favorite; “My Stanley” was the way she referred to him.   I opted for his restaurant, Musial and Biggies, for my first bachelor dinner.  Note, I said “first;” the restaurant lasted longer.

And when it came time for my folks to celebrate either their 65th or 70th wedding anniversary, I’m not sure which, I contacted his office and Stan Musial sent a personal note which was framed and showcased in a far more prominent place  than the letter from President Clinton.

As a kid, my younger brother and I pressured our folks to hang around the ballpark, Sportsman’s Park, long after the game so we could get autographs…  sometime in September 1951, the Cardinals played Cincinnati and there in my autograph book are the signatures of Nipper Jones,  Del Rice and Stan Musial …  Musial, not once, but twice.

Stan Musial was not only a great ballplayer, a successful businessman (he was also President of a bank) but a great citizen – a good guy who just happened to hit .331.

Happy birthday Stan