Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Musial given President Medal of Freedom

At the White House today, former St. Louis Cardinal great Stan Musial was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama.

The Hall-of-Fame outfielder and first baseman was among 15 recipients of the award, which is the highest national honor that can be bestowed on a civilian. President Obama highlighted Musial’s achievements, calling “Stan the Man” brilliantly talented as well as humble.

“He was the first player to make, get this, $100,000. Even more shocking, he asked for a pay cut when he didn’t perform up to his own expectations. You can imagine that happening today,” Obama said.

“Stan remains to this day an icon, untarnished and a beloved pillar of the community, a gentlemen you’d want your kids to emulate. ‘I hope I’ve given baseball nearly as much as I’ve gotten from it,’ Stan wrote in his memoirs, knocking it out of the park one more time.”

Musial, who turned 90 years old last year, wore his trademark Cardinal red blazer for the ceremony. It was his 14th trip to the White House as guest of a U.S. President.

Among the other recipients of the Medal of Freedom today was poet and author Maya Angelou, who was born in St. Louis.

Bill Raack, St. Louis Public Radio


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