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Stan Musial to be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom this afternoon

Feb 15, 2011, 9:07 AM EDT

Stan Musial

As was announced last fall, today Stan Musial will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  The ceremony is this afternoon at 1:30PM Eastern/12:30 Central. and NewsChannel 5 in St. Louis will carry it live if you’re interested.

As I said back in November, Musial is most worthy of this. Not just because he was one of the greatest ballplayers who has ever lived, but also because his integrity, demeanor and just plain and simple decency stands for the notion that a sports figure can be a role model, even if we are increasingly inclined to reject that notion in this day and age.  He’s been in the public eye for close to 70 years, and I’ll be damned if I’ve ever read or heard one negative thing about him.  Which is frankly amazing considering how the world works these days.

There is really no one else like Stan Musial in baseball. He doesn’t need an award from the President for anyone to realize it, but by gum, I’m glad he’s getting it.

  1. Lukehart80 - Feb 15, 2011 at 9:27 AM

    Does anyone know what other professional athletes have ever received this honor?

    • fuggles7 - Feb 15, 2011 at 10:00 AM

      Wikipedia is your friend…
      * Hank Aaron (2002)
      * Muhammad Ali (2005)
      * Arthur Ashe (1993, posthumously)
      * Earl Blaik (1986)
      * Paul “Bear” Bryant (1983, posthumously)
      * Roberto Clemente (2003, posthumously)
      * Joe DiMaggio (1977)
      * Billie Jean King (2009)[10]
      * Robert J. H. Kiphuth (1963)
      * Stan Musial (2011)[6]
      * Jack Nicklaus (2005)
      * Buck O’Neil (2006)
      * Jesse Owens (1977)
      * Arnold Palmer (2004)
      * Richard Petty (1992)
      * Frank Robinson (2005)
      * Jackie Robinson (26 March 1984, posthumously)[76]
      * Bill Russell (2011)[6]
      * Ted Williams (1991)
      * John Wooden (2003)

      • Lukehart80 - Feb 15, 2011 at 10:53 AM


  2. Chris Fiorentino - Feb 15, 2011 at 9:28 AM

    Great man. Great player. Truly deserves the title of “The Man”.

  3. hnirobert3 - Feb 15, 2011 at 9:48 AM

    Whaddya say! Whaddya say! Whaddya say!

  4. Old Gator - Feb 15, 2011 at 9:49 AM

    If you’re going to be given a medal in Washington, this sure beats being made a dunce in front of a few thousand yowling crackers and loons by a grandstanding tundra trash windbag and a bloated latterday Faux News Il Duce impersonator, doesn’t it?

    • hasbeen5 - Feb 15, 2011 at 10:00 AM

      What the hell are you talking about? This was a post meant to alert us to a very positive ceremony in honor of, by all accounts, a great man. But you couldn’t pass up an opportunity to turn it into a politicized rant so that you can admire your own “wit.” Why not keep the comments here related to baseball? Go to the Huffington Post or some other political site for the rest of your crap.

      • Old Gator - Feb 15, 2011 at 10:46 AM

        Obviously, you don’t understand how relentlessly baseball intersects with politics anyway. If Albert Pujols and Tony LaRussa hadn’t let themselves be exploited by those two tinpot demagogues in the first place, I’d’ve had nothing to say about them here. Usually. And the Huffington Post has been taken over by a soulless multinational. No place there for a tree-hugging athiest luddite politically atavistic champion of the rights of the workingman like me. Would it be OK with you if I went over to Daily Worker instead?

      • hasbeen5 - Feb 15, 2011 at 10:55 AM

        This post has nothing to do with Pujols or LaRussa. This ceremony is about as apolitical as something in Washington could possibly be. If the authors post something about LaRussa or Pujols being “exploited” by the right, or Luke Scott being crazy, or if we find out that part of ARod’s next contract is that he gets to be the Fascist dictator of Alexville (formerly Manhatten), then posting your political views makes sense. Until then, I don’t really care which website you spew on, but I’d prefer it not be on almost every non-political post here on a baseball blog.

      • bigharold - Feb 15, 2011 at 10:59 AM

        “Would it be OK with you if I went over to Daily Worker instead?”

        Got a link?

      • spudchukar - Feb 15, 2011 at 1:06 PM

        Nonpolitical? It is a Medal of Freedom hosted by the White House, it isn’t a Grammy, although he is probably deserving for his harmonic rendition of “Wabash Cannonball”. He was 42 in 1963 his 21st and final year. It was time to retire. It was unfortunate, because as we all know in 1964 the Red Birds won it all. But it did have a symmetry to it.
        HasBeen, are you the newly anointed thread gestapo? While the award is way overdue, boy am I every glad it was postponed, nothing could ruin this day more than watching the Marionette from Waco, bungle the ceremony with his usual verbal bungling. I am fortunate to say I knew “The Man” well, and he is much happier receiving the award today, from another man of the people, than the fatuous, feeble-minded, frat-boy from the frickin’ fly-boy fringe.

      • hasbeen5 - Feb 15, 2011 at 1:20 PM

        Spud, I’ve said nothing about Obama so I’m not sure why you felt the need to bash the guy who has been out of office for over 2 years. What I said was, “about as apolitical as something in Washington could possibly be.” Yes it’s in the White House, but I don’t think there is any policy at play here. I don’t think there is a right or left stance on Musial getting a medal. Why not just say something like “hey congrats to a deserving guy” and move on. I’m not trying to censor anybody, I just wanted to know why there is a need, on a baseball blog, to bash people that may have a different political slant.

      • Old Gator - Feb 15, 2011 at 2:59 PM

        What is it with right-wingers and this word “spew”? Is it the only word they know for “expel”? Here, for the sake of all those spew spewing sunlit side of center spewers out there is a list of synonyms, courtesy of Roget – which sounds French, I know, but there’s nothing I can do about right-wingers being so pissed off that they were dead right about the inextricability of our headfirst dive into the bucket of corruption, lies and ideological excrement that was Iraq – for “spew,” so that even if conservatives still have trouble distinguishing their way of looking at the world from mere logic, at least they can vent (as opposed to spew) their bile at everyone else in less predictable, more colorful terms:

        belch, bring up, cascade, disgorge, eject, eruct, erupt, expectorate, expel, flood, gush, heave, irrupt, puke, regurgitate, scatter, spit, spit up, spread, spritz, throw up, urp, vomit

      • yankeesfanlen - Feb 15, 2011 at 3:10 PM

        I like eruct. As in,” hey don’t go around here with your eruction, use the men’s room if you must.”

      • hasbeen5 - Feb 15, 2011 at 4:36 PM

        You’re making my point for me. You’ve turned a post about Stan Musial being honored by the President into an excuse to bash the war. That’s a hell of a leap. I’ve said nothing negative about the left in any of my posts in this comment section. You, on the other hand, seemingly can’t put a sentence together without insulting those of us that have a different world view. It makes me want to spew.

      • Old Gator - Feb 15, 2011 at 6:00 PM

        Nice to know you had a point in the first place, aside from your odd conviction that the subjects and content of this blog are somehow yours to determine. Just for future reference, I’ll draw whatever associations I feel like drawing here unless and until the folks who actually do have the proprietary right to run this blog decide to set limits on them. Meanwhile, if you don’t like it, I have the same advice I have for any other self-appointed guardians of the realm in any medium: either ignore it or go find some more commodious box inside of which to do your alleged thinking.

      • hasbeen5 - Feb 16, 2011 at 8:19 AM

        Again, I’m not trying to censor you. Maybe I shouldn’t have told you to save that for another website. Type whatever the hell you want, and I’ll either read it or I won’t. What I’m trying to understand though, is why you feel the need to push your political beliefs on a baseball blog. Why do you feel the need to insult Fox News viewers or conservatives or anybody else when they have not given you any provocation? Do you put these snipes in there in hopes of starting an argument? If so, I took the bait. Or do you simply think that your beliefs make you a better person than those who disagree with you, and you feel you need to prove it every chance you get?

    • yankeesfanlen - Feb 15, 2011 at 10:32 AM

      Ah, Gator keep it up. Don’t let these nattering nabobs of negativism get you down.

      BTW, Stan Musial was always my favorite non-Yankee. Too bad he retired after ’63.

      • bigharold - Feb 15, 2011 at 11:00 AM


        I thought it was negativity?

      • yankeesfanlen - Feb 15, 2011 at 11:21 AM

        Nope, it was nagativism. Perhaps you would prefer the hopeless, hysterical hypochondiracs of history instead?

  5. Old Gator - Feb 15, 2011 at 10:51 AM

    Mine too. If he had gone in for Steinach surgery, he could still be playing.

    And as far as being gotten down, don’t worry. If three generations of bootleather or tail meat hunters and numberless swamps full of water moccasins and invasive Burmese pythons couldn’t do it, a couple of indignant Trailer Park Network fans won’t either. I am minded of the words of the great Neil Young:

    Don’t let it get you down
    It’s only castles burning
    Find someone who’s turning
    You will come around….

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