When Stan Musial, my boyhood idol, died in January, baseball lost one of its greatest players and America lost one of its finest citizens. In 2011, Stan received our nation's highest civilian award — the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
When I was growing up, a picture of Stan Musial was on my bedroom wall. I am now 73, and I still have pictures of Musial on my walls.
When I was teaching and coaching I would point out Musial as an example of how an athlete should conduct himself.
When he retired, "Stan the Man" held 17 Major League records, 29 National League records and nine All-Star Game records. He was an All-Star 24 times and hit the most All-Star Game homers ever.
The inscription on his statue, outside the ballpark in St. Louis reads: "Here stands baseball's perfect warrior. Here stands baseball's perfect knight". I suppose we all want our heroes to live forever, and they will — in our hearts.
- Don Toma, Merrillville