Needless to say, coming into 2013, it was impossible to predict what would become the top story of the year for the St. Louis Cardinals. While the baseball world knew that 92-year-old Stan Musial had been in declining health, few if any were willing to accept “The Man” could leave us so “soon.”
The greatest St. Louis Cardinals player of all time passed away on Saturday, January 19 at his home in Ladue, surrounded by family. It is one of those times I will always remember. I learned of the news during the Winter Warm-Up fan event as I was working on the day’s articles that evening at the Hyatt.
Soon, I was immersed in Musial retrospectives, both for my site and others. I was asked to go on WFAN Radio in New York later than night. The fact that my time slot was between 4:30 and 5:00 A.M. did not matter, as I would have had trouble sleeping, anyway.
Even 11 months after the fact, it is impossible for me to simply recap seven decades of Musial’s contributions as a lifelong Cardinal to the game of baseball and its fans – first as a superstar player, Hall of Famer, executive, restaurateur, friend of Presidents and Popes and ambassador for the game we all love so much.
You can read high level information about Musial’s life all over the web, including this article at The Cardinal Nation: “Baseball world mourns death of Stan Musial”
However, I encourage you – especially during this long winter off-season away from live baseball – to dig deeper into Musial’s considerable legacy. I highly recommend these three books:
“Stan Musial: ‘The Man’s’ own story as told to Bob Broeg”, Doubleday, 1964.
“Musial: From Stash to Stan The Man” by James M. Giglio, University of Missouri Press, 2001.
“Stan Musial: An American Life” by George Vescey, Ballantine, 2011.
Next, I will wrap up the series with my prediction for the top five Cardinals stories of 2014 and audit how well I did in attempting to predict 2013’s biggest news items one year ago.