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Stan ‘The Man’ Musial: an inspiration to all

Posted on Monday, January 28, 2013 at 2:21 pm

St. Louis Cardinals fans will always remember where they were when they heard the news, “ Stan “The Man” Musial has passed away. “  In my case, I was at the opening game of the St. Louis Blues Hockey team and joined with 20,000 other fans in standing to our feet to honor the passing of a truly great man.

Stan was a St. Louis icon and hands down the greatest ball player to ever step up to the plate. Many generations knew him and will never forget him. Many will remember him for his baseball, racking up stats and breaking records that had been set by the likes of the “Great Bambino” Babe Ruth. Musial’s baseball career was nothing short of extraordinary.

Stan was in 24 All-Star games. He recorded over 170 stolen bases and cranked out over 470 career homeruns. He ended his career with 1,815 hits at home and a consistent 1,815 hits on the road. At one time Stan even asked for a pay cut because he wasn’t playing well.  Stan left the sport he loved in 1944 to defend the country he loved during World War II. He missed the 1945 season and returned in 1946 to receive his second MVP award and play in his third World Series. In 2011, President Barack Obama bestowed upon him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

“Stan remains, to this day, an icon, untarnished; a beloved pillar of the community; a gentleman you’d want your kids to emulate,” said President Barack Obama.

There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that Stan “The Man” Musial shaped baseball. He also shaped people’s lives. After Musial passed, stories poured out as St. Louis fans, friends and his family members shared. The majority of the stories were not about his career, but rather about how “the Man” lived his life off the field. He never hesitated to sign autographs and he never blew off the media.  Everyone seems to have only good things to say about Stan Musial.

This makes me think about my own life. I know I’ve touched on this topic before, but how are you going to be remembered? When we pass from this world, what legacy will we leave behind?

I know I’ll never have the same status as Stan “The Man” Musical, but as Obama said, he’s a gentleman you’d want your kids to emulate. Can you say that about yourself?  In my case, I know there are people who will remember me for certain events in which I’ve had a part, or because of something I’ve written or said.  I just hope the image I’ve projected is a positive one.  I know Stan “The Man” Musical inspired me, and I never met the man in person. He inspired(s) me to be a better person, more encouraging and understanding.  Wouldn’t that be a great legacy for any of us to leave behind?