Cardinals campaign for Stan Musial
ST. LOUIS -- Stan Musial took a long, slow lap in a golf cart around the Busch Stadium warning track as part of the St. Louis Cardinals' campaign to have the Hall of Famer honored with the Presidential Freedom medal.
The 89-year-old Musial rode with his wife, Lil, and other family members before the bottom of the sixth inning of Saturday's game against the Colorado Rockies. Players from both teams stood outside the dugout during the tribute, many of them holding cardboard Musial cutouts that are part of the team's movement.
The cutouts depict a cartoonish Musial wearing a big grin and brandishing a self-autographed bat with arms and legs outstretched.
The cart slowed appreciably alongside the dugouts, giving Musial time to shake as many hands as possible. Fellow Hall of Famer Red Schoendienst, who played with and managed Musial, was part of the Cardinals' receiving line.
"I wanted to be out there and shake his hand," Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse said. "It's obviously not every day you get to have a little tribute and express how much he's loved and how much people appreciate what he's done."
Manager Tony La Russa held up his Musial cutout and stood next to Schoendienst. La Russa said Musial, who'll be 90 on Nov. 21, and Schoendienst "got a little emotional."
"That was a special moment," La Russa said. "I looked around and there were a lot of guys choking up. That was pretty overwhelming, to have those two guys together."
The Cardinals launched the campaign in May, aiming to inspire President Barack Obama to bestow and honor Musial with the most prestigious award a civilian can receive in the United States. The team has used social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook to fuel a grassroots movement, and started a Web site, cardinals.com/STAN! to involve fans.
Before Saturday's game, the team plastered one of the Musial cutouts on the outfield wall in right center.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press