Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Stan Musial recieves Presidential Medal of Freedom

Yesterday, Stan "The Man" Musial recieved the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Ironically, Jean Kennedy Smith, the brother of the late president John F. Kennedy, also recieved one. Catch up on the backstory to that here. Anyway, the following are remarks delivered by President Barack Obama in presenting the medal to one of the all-time St. Louis greats:
Stan Musial -- his brilliance could come in blinding bursts; hitting five home runs in a single day’s doubleheader; leading the league in singles, doubles, triples and RBIs over a single season; three World Series; first-ballot Hall of Famer; worthy of one of the greatest nicknames in sports -- “Stan the Man.” (Laughter.) My grandfather was Stan, by the way, so I used to call him “The Man” too, Stan. (Laughter.)

Stan Musial made that brilliance burn for two decades. Stan matched his hustle with humility. He retired with 17 records -- even as he missed a season in his prime to serve his country in the Navy. He was the first player to make -- get this -- $100,000. (Laughter.) Even more shocking, he asked for a pay cut when he didn’t perform up to his own expectations. You can imagine that happening today. (Laughter.) Stan remains, to this day, an icon, untarnished; a beloved pillar of the community; a gentleman you’d want your kids to emulate. “I hope I’ve given [baseball] nearly as much as I’ve gotten from it,” Stan wrote in his memoirs, knocking it out of the park one more time.
When the medal was presented:
Stanley F. Musial. Stanley F. Musial represents the best of American sports icons. His name is synonymous with the St. Louis Cardinals, the team on which he played for his entire 22-year career. A perennial all-star and three-time Most Valuable Player, he won accolades as a player and championships as a teammate. Nicknamed “Stan the Man” Musial, he played the game with unrivaled passion, and his humility and decency remain a model for all young Americans to this day.

(The medal is presented.) (Applause.)

No comments: