Stan Musial, better known to his Cardinal fans as “Stan the Man”,
Passed away last Saturday.
He was not only a legendary ball player, but a true role model for all.
He was 92 and yet those touched by him wished for more time.
We arrived at Busch Stadium this morning just after 10:30 to pay tribute and wait for the family procession to his statue.
It was quiet, sunny and extremely cold.
We laid the flowers along with the many wonderful balloons and signs and memorabilia left as signs of love.
Truly a visible sign of not an ordinary life, but a well journeyed soul.
The stories you hear around the stadium are from you and me.
People walking around town,
That he took the time to make sure and not only greet but help them feel like they were “seen.”
A baseball player,
But most importantly a really nice guy.
Not stuck on himself like he could be.
He was that good!
But one that loved making people smile with his harmonica.
Elite, a Clydesdale, seemed to glide by with an air of strength and solemnity.
Elite stood shining with a radiant light
-was Stan shining his light down?
He was called hero and friend by so many.
His fans not to be held at a distance,
But up close.
A touch, a handshake or a hug was a normal treat for those who ran into him.
Stan was more legendary in life because of his humbleness.
His ability to stay connected to the City that held him in such high regard.
No matter how big his status pushed him to,
He would always be a local guy.
This was clearly seen and felt today.
From the city and fans that loved him so much.
We stood in the cold waiting for the sun to touch our toes.
I was convinced I had frostbite,
But we stood glued for hours because we wanted to be a part of this mans most honored tribute.
Before us a huge statue of Stan.
Glorious light finally warming my fingers and occasionally toes.
The people around us,
Our Cardinals families.
Each not willing to leave until we could share a moment with Stan’s family.
We shared The Lords Prayer.
Watching as the family each put a rose in the bronze vase at Stan’s feet.
As the family walked back to their cars to go on to the grave site,
A fan started singing
“Take Me Out To The Ballgame”
Where everyone eagerly and vigorously joined in.
I think Stan would be pleased with that.
It touched our hearts as so many teared up.
We watched as Jim Edmonds and other players walked past.
All paying tribute to this one man.
I can’t help but parallel his example to that of players today.
Do we have a “Stan Musial” out there today?
Humble, polite, reachable.
A true “man” not because he said he was.
He didn’t loudly shout
“I am a Christian,”
He just showed it.
We stayed til around 2:00,
Which was when we left for J. Bucks.
(Our favorite spot by the Stadium.)
My sis had chosen to wait there after freezing her toes off for about 40 minutes.
So, off we went to thaw completely and enjoy some good food and great company.
And of course my favorite martini.
We actually made the local television coverage since we were right up front.
We were on a nationwide broadcast also, but no close up shots.
Watching the recorded and moving funeral Mass.
We are touched again by the many stories of how extraordinary he really was.
Stan had a large platform,
A wide audience
And he led with a quiet strength.
We may never have that kind of stage,
But we still have the same opportunity,
To lead with love.
We all can chose to live a legendary life.