February 16, 2011

Stan Musial: "This is the Greatest Day I Had in My Life"

Last November, after a wonderful "Flat Stan the Man" campaign, 90-year-old Hall of Famer Stan Musial got the call that he was going to be one of the latest Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients.

Pretty cool.

Tuesday, perhaps lost in all the Albert Pujols nonsense, was the day for "The Man" and how did he re-pay his fans at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?

Well, according to Bernie Miklasz from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch...with an impromptu harmonica concert of course.

As soon as he was wheeled into the White House, Musial pulled out his trusty harmonica to entertain welcoming members of Obama's staff with some favorite ditties, including that most precious of Stan the Man's chestnuts, "Take Me Out to the Ballgame."

"It was pretty amazing," said Stephen Beck, a documentary moviemaker who accompanied President George Bush, also a medal recipient, to the White House. "Stan comes into the place and immediately takes out the harmonica and gets going. He had the White House staff smiling and laughing."

And then after the ceremony, at a reception for medal winners and their guests, Musial set up for an encore.

By placing the Medal of Freedom around Musial's neck, President Obama made the lifelong Cardinal baseball's eighth recipient...the most among any sport. 

The other seven are Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente, Joe DiMaggio, Buck O'Neil, Frank Robinson, Jackie Robinson and Ted Williams...not too shabby. 

I encourage you to read Miklasz's piece...it's pretty incredible and pays tribute to Musial and the event far better than I ever could.


No comments: