Sportsmanship makes good athletes great, great athletes legends, and legendary athletes immortal. Stan Musial is a baseball immortal because of his sportsmanship. How he treated others transcended his play on the field and made his records loom even larger…records that already ranked high among the all-time greats. Musial retired in 1963 and still holds several impressive marks. He hit 475 career home runs, most by any St. Louis Cardinals player ever. Musial had 3,630 hits: 1,815 at home and 1,815 on the road. Only three players in Major League Baseball history have more hits than Musial and their names are Rose, Cobb and Aaron.
He played in over 3,000 games for the Cardinals and was never ejected. Stan Musial played hard, played to win, but always kept his head in the game. His legend looms much larger than his records, though. People who never saw him play or don’t really follow baseball have their own Musial stories. Maybe they met him in a restaurant and he made time for an autograph or a fun conversation. Maybe they saw him in the neighborhood playing catch with some kids. Maybe he invited them to join in. The positive stories about Musial are endless and the impact lasts longer than any trophy or souvenir.
That’s why the St. Louis Sports Commission named the Musial Awards and the companion Musial Moments program in his honor. It doesn’t matter if you hit nearly 500 home runs in the majors or don’t have a proper batting stance, each of us can treat others with kindness and respect. We can exhibit compassion and selflessness at the appropriate times. Whether you’re in the locker room, courtroom, board room or dressing room, let good sportsmanship and fair play guide your interactions and decisions.
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