Cardinals dedicate Musial Drive outside Busch Stadium
ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Cardinals dedicated Stan Musial Drive on Sunday, renaming the street in front of Busch Stadium in honor of the franchise's greatest player.
Musial, 87, has been in ill health and arrived at the pre-game dedication ceremony in a golf cart wearing a red jacket and Cardinals cap while his wife, Lillian, sat in a wheelchair. He felt well enough to make a few remarks, thanking the team's owners and "the greatest fans around" and also joked that the reason for the golf cart was too much wear and tear on his legs from running the bases so much.
"The other thing I wanted to say is the reason I have a bad knee, I hit too many triples," Musial joked.
Musial, who played his entire 22-year career in St. Louis while batting .331 with 3,630 hits, closed his time at the microphone by modeling his left-handed swing, long a signature move. There are two Musial statues outside the stadium.
A video montage paid tribute on the 50th anniversary of Musial's 3,000th career hit, a pinch-hit double on May 13, 1958 at Wrigley Field off the Cubs' Moe Drabowsky. A huge number 6, Musial's retired jersey number, was cut in the grass just beyond the center field wall.
Several Cardinals and Tampa Bay Rays players lined the foul lines to watch the video honoring the player broadcaster Mike Shannon introduced as the "greatest living hitter." Fans gave him a standing ovation after the introduction.
"Every day I walk by that statue, and I think 'Will we ever see a player of that magnitude again?" Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press