If one were looking at a calendar of meaningful sports dates in St. Louis, you would be hard pressed to find one bigger than today.
See, today is Stan the Man's birthday.
Musial turns 88-years-old today, and I would be remiss if I didn't celebrate it, at least a little bit. So happy birthday, Stan. Perfect knight, perfect gentleman, whatever you wish to say, Musial is The Man, and he always will be.
I have two regrets in life related to Mr. Musial. The first is that I'll never get to see Stan the Man play. I've seen plenty of great players in my time, and plenty of great Cardinals, for that matter, but the greatest to ever don the Birds on the Bat hung it up long before I came along. I've seen the swing, of course, all the video of Musial hitting, but the essence of a player can never be properly put down on celluloid, no matter how much we might wish it.
The other regret, and I hate to say this, because it feels like blasphemy even to me, is that we St. Louisans have to look at that god awful statue of Musial every time we go to the ballpark.
But no, we have to look at that misshapen monstrosity at the main gates. Honestly, I have to ask, can anyone tell me why that statue is the one that became the statue? Even Musial himself has complained that it looks nothing like him, and Stan is not the complaining sort. Can we please stop this sad farce and just admit that, landmark or no, the Musial Statue is just terrible? Am I the only one who sees this? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!
Happy Birthday, Stan. Even though I never saw you play, you are Cardinal baseball, to me and everyone else. Of course, I'm sure you already knew that, though you'd probably never admit it.
You are, after all, The Man.