Tributes to the Greatest Cardinal of All
The opportunity to see Stan play even once was a blessing
By Joel Spenner // Cardinals Fan
The first game I went to was a 1962 game against the Giants in old Busch Stadium. I had just turned eight years old, three weeks earlier and had bugged my Dad to take me to a Cards game even though it was a 60 mile drive each way. He had gotten us some very good tickets about 40 rows behind the Cards dugout which was on the third base side. I will always remember walking up the short ramp on the third base side and through the tunnel where you could only see the blue sky. When we got to the top and I could see the greenest grass ever, a perfectly laid out infield, and the coolest scoreboard ever, it was about as exciting as life could get for an eight year old in 1962. The first player I saw was Stan Musial, playing pepper with Julian Javier and another Cardinal. I yelled out, “Good luck today, Stan!” which of course got me into trouble with my dad. But what was so cool, was that Stan stopped the pepper game, looked toward me and waved back. I was just one of a thousand kids that probably told him the same thing that day and he stopped and waved back to someone he had no idea who yelled out to him. I mean a guy who knew John Kennedy actually waved back to me! I never got to see him play live again and I honestly don’t know how he did that day except the Cardinals won and Kenny Boyer hit a home run to left. I think Curt Simmons pitched that day and he always pitched well against the Giants. He stuck out McCovey three times!
I truly consider myself fortunate that I got to see him play once and listened to Harry and Jack on the littlest transistor radio on the planet, talk about this great man every night. I have autographed photos of Stan with John Kennedy, Willie Mays, and Jackie Robinson and when I look at them, I am again reminded that whenever someone needs an example of how to live your life with dignity, class, and respect, no one ever needs to look beyond Stan Musial as the perfect example. My kids are starting to understand a little more about what a great man he is and what a great player he was. My daughter tells me that when I talk about him, my whole face lights up! All of us are truly blessed to know that Stan was OUR HERO and I am so glad to have the chance to let him know how I feel about him. God bless you, Stan Musial!!!
Submitted July 27, 2009
Stan was and always will be my hero
By Tony // Cardinals Fan
In 1956 my father brought my brother and me an 8 mm camera. For those of you who are not familiar with 8 mm movie cameras. They came in 50 ft reels unlike the hours you get today from video tapes.
My brother and I were, and still are, big Cardinal fans and we lived in Brooklyn. We couldn't wait to take our camera to Ebbets Field and see Stan Musial and get him on film.
Because the 8 mm film had it's limits we could not afford to waste any film. We were hoping Stan would get a hit while we were filming. God Bless him, he hit a home run on his first at bat. We couldn't wait to get the film developed.
When the Cardinals came to town again later that year we took the camera to the Pologrounds to watch them play the Giants. Again, Stan hit a homer in his first at bat. Those clips of Stan hitting home runs are among my most prized possessions. We followed him to Shibe Park in Philadelphia, but only got him warming up on the side lines. For some reason he was not in the line up for that day.
We used to wait outside of Ebbet's Field for the players to show up. Stan always arrived together with "Red" Schoendienst. Always gracious, always smiling. He was, and still is a hero to me and I am 72 years old.
Submitted July 17, 2009
Have a Stan "the Man" story, memory, or just feel compelled to share your awe of his greatness? To make this tribute all it can be, we need to hear from you. Please take some time to share your thoughts.
Tributes can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.