The Man Has Died, But Legends Last Forever
Some people in life are like mountains or galaxies; seemingly infinite, permanent. Their end seems incomprehensible, as if they could never be torn away from us.
Sadly, time can rob us of everything we hope will last forever. Tonight that was proven again as one of baseball’s greatest players quietly slipped out of our loving embrace. Stan Musial has died at 92 years old.
But what a remarkable 92 years he gave to the town and fans who loved him as a son, an idol, a father, and elder statesman.
As a young man, Musial’s supernatural talents led a powerful Cardinals lineup to multiple championships in the forties. Despite his astonishing achievements on the field that led to an obvious Hall of Fame career, Musial was the epitome of humility and class throughout.
It’s almost impossible to recount the monumental accomplishments and records of Musial, who easily ranks among the game’s greatest hitters. He is tied for the most All Star games with a remarkable 24 appearances. He ranks among all-time leaders in hits, and sabermetricians regularly rank him among the top five hitters when adjusted by period.
But Musial was so much more than impressive stats to the town that loved him and the franchise that grew out of him. Simply put, Musial was good and honorable. He married his high school sweetheart and remained faithful for life. When other players grabbed at every dollar they could get, Musial gave back money and turned down record-breaking Mexican contracts to remain a Cardinal for life. In his retirement, he tirelessly represented the organization with kindness, generosity, and class. His smile, a beacon until his last breath, was a light that cannot be extinguished from the memory of Cardinal Nation.
He was called The Man because that was what he truly was – a man. He represented everything a real man could be: loyal, kind, honest, tough, relentless, heartfelt, generous, and heroic. He created the Cardinal Way all by himself. He pioneered it with a unique blend of passion, skill, and heart. Every player who has since worn Cardinal red has played, not in the shadow of the Arch, but in the shadow of baseball’s ultimate hero.
Time has taken Musial from us physically, but his achievements and example will echo endlessly in Baseball Heaven. Cardinal fans gathered there, regardless of age, will always remember that they once watched a man give his heart, body, and soul to baseball’s greatest town, and they loved him in return.
Death will not ever destroy that bond.
We will always love you, Stan Musial. Thank you for making us believe in everything good, righteous, and noble in this world, and the possibilities that come with them.