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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

“The Heart and Soul of St. Louis Cardinals Baseball”

“The Heart and Soul of St. Louis Cardinals Baseball”

Words from FOX Sports broadcaster Joe Buck have never rung as true as they did during the All-Star Game pre-game festivities when he announced the arrival of Hall of Famer, number 6, Stan “The Man” Musial.

Stan Musial (Getty Images/Elsa)

Stan Musial (Getty Images/Elsa)

The 88-year-old living legend triumphantly rode onto the Busch Stadium turf on a cart carrying the baseball to be used by President of the United States Barack Obama in delivering the ceremonial first pitch to Albert Pujols.

In doing so, Musial carried out my most-anticipated event of the entire All-Star week before an official out had even been recorded. While his Tuesday participation had been planned for some time, Stan’s health made his appearance less than a sure thing.

Barack Obama and Stan Musial (Getty Images/Jamie Squire)

Barack Obama and Stan Musial (Getty Images/Jamie Squire)

In an interview during Monday’s All-Star Home Run Derby, Pujols said he didn’t mind being called any nickname given him except for one. The current “best Cardinals player” said that the label “El Hombre” made him angry because there can be only one “Man” in St. Louis, Musial.

Stan Musial (AP/Jeff Roberson)

Stan Musial (AP/Jeff Roberson)

Seemingly knowing their opportunities to see the greatest Cardinals player of all-time are dwindling with each passing year and Stan’s declining health, the 46,760 in attendance Tuesday evening gave the 24-time All-Star a thunderous welcome.

In fact, it may have been Musial’s first visit back to Busch since the club honored him by proclaiming Stan Musial Day to coincide with the Cardinals game against the Tampa Bay Rays on May 18, 2008.

Stan Musial (AP/Jeff Roberson)

Stan Musial (AP/Jeff Roberson)

With all due respect to The President, Sheryl Crow, the 2009 All-Stars and the five other Cardinals Hall of Famers in attendance – Bob Gibson, Bruce Sutter, Ozzie Smith, Red Schoendienst and Lou Brock – with this post, I simply want to acknowledge and celebrate the greatness of Musial one more time.

Thank you, Stan.

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