Stan Musial stan musial
Posted on Tuesday, October 26, 2010 8:39 AM Google Search
Stan Musial, a
member of the Categories
Baseball Hall of
F a m e , w a s
presented with the
Medal of Honor on
Tuesday. When he
resided in the
George H. W. Bush
kept his George
McQuinn model first baseman glove in his desk drawer.
Once, when a gaggle of sports journalists dropped by to talk baseball, he took out
the glove and displayed it. After that, it was always comforting to think that this
very busy man had the option of pounding his left fist into the pocket, as an outlet.
“Those of us who know him know, this is a gentleman,” President Obama said
during the ceremony in the East Room. Then, in a semiquizzical voice, the 44th
president described how the 41st president, at 85, “decided to jump out of
All three have played for championships. Musial won three of the four World Series
he played in, and Russell won 11 championships in 13 seasons in the N.B.A. And
George H. W. Bush played in two championship games in the College World Series,
losing to California in 1947 and to Southern California in 1948.
How does it feel to be honored along with those two other athletes? “I don’t know
if I’m in their league,” Bush said, modest as ever.
There was one baseball glove at the ceremony, which honored poets and artists,
activists and philanthropists. The glove belonged to Senator Richard J. Durbin,
Democrat of Illinois, who displayed a childlike smile not often seen on public
servants’ faces in these cranky times.
“I grew up in East St. Louis,” he said. “When I was 10 years old, I got a Rawlings
special, a Stan Musial model.” He waved the small glove, still relatively supple, with
the new silver trace from a felt pen — the beautiful signature of Stan Musial, just
applied in person.
Sports are important enough to bring that smile of memory to family and friends
and admirers. Sports count in a different way from the ultimate sacrifice paid by
Dr. Thomas Emmett Little, who was honored posthumously, after being murdered
while volunteering eye care to the people of Afghanistan in 2010. Sports do not
exactly measure up against the bravery of Representative John Lewis, Democrat
of Georgia, who was beaten during the civil rights era. But both big-time athletes
honored Tuesday made their stands in their own ways.