Cardinal baseball. It is almost a religion in these parts. I know it is for my family. If you want to be told to shut up and leave try talking during a Cardinal game at my parent's house. To say that we bleed Cardinal Red is an understatement.
My Father, who I sometimes refer to as the Rainman of sports knowledge, probably has not missed a total of 20 games on the radio or on television since the late 1950's. (except for his time in Vietnam) To this day he still carries a small transistor radio with him where ever he goes during the summer so he won't miss a single pitch.
Happy Birthday Mr. Musial.
On the grand occasion of Stan Musial's 90th birthday Sunday, we offer our own special gift: a literary cake, topped with 90 reasons why we love The Man, or one for each year:
2 • Musial, unlike so many athletes, always appreciated what he has and was thankful to play baseball for a living. He is the anti-Terrell Owens. "Maybe one reason I'm so cheerful is that for more than 20 years I've had an unbeatable combination going for me - getting paid, often a lot, to do the thing I love the most," Musial once said.
3 • A lovely man, with lovely symmetry. Musial stroked two hits in his first game in the majors Sept. 17, 1941. He ended his career with two hits in his final game Sept. 29, 1963, in St. Louis. And with those last two hits, Musial finished with 1,815 hits at home and 1,815 on the road. As the writer George Will once wrote, "baseball's rich in wonderful statistics, but it's hard to find one more beautiful than Stan Musial's hitting record. He didn't care where he was, he just hit."
4 • The Musial Statue. No, it doesn't look like him. It's not nearly as perfect as the Man himself. But Cardinals fans from around St. Louis, from every state and even the world have flocked to the statue for decades to take photos and meet family, friends and fellow Cardinals fans. It's the destination of a baseball pilgrimage.
5 • The Man once made a cameo acting appearance on the hit 1960s show, "That Girl," starring Marlo Thomas.