St. Louis, nation mourn death of Stan Musial

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 19, 2013 at 11:02 pm •  Published: January 19, 2013

ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis Cardinals reliever Mitchell Boggs was at a party back home in Georgia for his sister's wedding when the gathering suddenly turned somber.

The news had spread that Hall of Famer Stan Musial died on Saturday. He was 92.

"Everybody knew who Stan Musial was," Boggs said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "Everyone knew what a great person he was."

A moment of silence was observed before the start of the Rhode Island-Saint Louis men's basketball game across town, and prior to the third period of the St. Louis Blues' NHL opener against the Detroit Red Wings when public address announcer Tom Calhoun described Musial as "St. Louis' favorite son."

Former Cardinals manager Tony La Russa interrupted his annual Animal Rescue Foundation event onstage to pass on the sad news. The Cardinals set up a memorial around the larger of the two Musial statues, a longtime meeting place for fans, outside Busch Stadium.

"Obviously, everybody is heartbroken," current Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said at the Blues game. "There's a lot of people who will quote his stats to you, but what makes it so touching is how it affects people's lives."

Former Cardinals star Albert Pujols weighed in with a tweet: "My prayers are with the Musial family tonight. I will cherish my friendship with Stan for as long as I live. Rest in Peace."

Current Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday, too: "Sad to hear about Stan the Man, it's an honor to wear the same uniform. Prayers to the Musial family."

Many recalled Musial as the most selfless of sports heroes. Boggs was touched by Musial's enthusiasm when the pitcher cracked the major leagues in 2008.

"He was one of the best players to ever play the game, and he was very happy for me when I made my first team," Boggs said. "He was extremely kind to me. He was one of a kind."

Hall of Fame manager Whitey Herzog said Musial was a player he'd have loved to have written onto his lineup card. He said Musial's influence provided a helpful push in his election to the Hall.