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Remembering baseball’s Stan Musial — ‘The Man’

 

Taken from the October 1963 “Message of the Month,” written by Donald Danforth, chairman of the board, Ralston Purina Company.

“Twenty-two years ago, on September 17, 1941, I saw an unknown rookie break into the Cardinal line-up for the first time. His clean-cut appearance, his distinctive crouching stance, and his wiggle when at bat made him an immediate favorite with the fans. That day Stan Musial lined a double to score the leading run. Later he preserved the victory with the most remarkable diving summersault catch I have ever seen. The Cardinals won by the score of 3-2.

“Sunday, September 29, 1963, I was again privileged to watch the game that marked the end of Stan (The Man) Musial’s playing career. In the 4th inning he lashed a sharp single to right for the Cardinal’s first hit. In the 6th inning he singled again to drive in the run that decided the contest. Again the Cardinals won 3-2.

“During his brilliant playing career Stan Musial has made more records than any other baseball player. He is the champion of all champions. He will be named to Baseball’s Hall of Fame. His uniform will be retired and no Cardinal player will ever again wear the familiar number “6.”

“Stan retires as the most respected and admired of all baseball players. He has not been spoiled by honors and acclaim. While a tremendous competitor, he displays neither temper nor temperament. He is a team player who has always been cooperative with management, respected by umpires and idolized by other players. For years he has been the fans’ most popular player.

“His baseball records will go down in history. But even more important, Stan personifies everything to be desired in an individual. He lives the kind of life that isn’t easy -- a Four-Square Life.

“HE STANDS TALL. Few athletes have ever paid so great a price in long hours and hard work to keep themselves physically strong as has Stan Musial. Instead of “sitting” out the off-seasons, he has been “sweating” them out for many years with rigorous, stimulating body-building programs designed to enable him to beat his best, season after season.

“HE THINKS TALL. Stan’s success as a businessman clearly demonstrates his willingness to think bigger, act bigger, and to be a bigger man than simply a famous baseball player.

“HE SMILES TALL. Stan Musial long ago developed the magnetic personality which leads and inspires others. Never too busy to give an autograph or a word of encouragement to a grinning youngster, he has always demonstrated broad sympathies toward everyone no matter their station in life. Few have ever been exposed to the admiration of so many for so long and yet maintained their humility.

“HE LIVES TALL. Although successful, hardworking, humble and dedicated to his profession, Stan has long given and continues to give of his time and talents in community affairs. At 42, he is just beginning to live.

“He is distinguished by something simple and old-fashioned called character. He has never given less than 100 percent of himself to his game, his fans, his community, and his God. Let’s hope that a lot of this great man rubs off on every ambitious youngster for generations to come ...

Sincerely yours, Donald Danforth”

Stan Musial died Jan. 19, 2013. He will be remembered as a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II, a greatly admired Major League Baseball outfielder and first baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals for 22 seasons, and a successful businessman.

Ken and Nan Webster have collected inspiration for many years from many sources, and now inspire readers of “A Matter That Matters.” Contact them at kennanco@gmail.com or visit www.kennancompany.com.

 
 
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