"Big Four" Highlights


Catholic Ballplayer Honored

Awarded highest civilian medal

Stan Musial, a baseball Hall of Famer who played his entire 22-year career with the St. Louis Cardinals, was awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama along with a host of other notable achievers during a White House ceremony on February 15th.

The Medal of Freedom is considered the nation’s highest civilian honor.

Baseball great Stan Musial, 90 years old, received the Medal of Freedom from President Obama. (CNS photo/Kevin Lamarque, Reuters)

Known for his dedication to his Catholic faith and for not missing Sunday Mass amid a busy baseball travel and game schedule, Musial, 90 years old, looked trim and strong at the event. Known as “Stan the Man” during his playing days, he amassed 3,630 base hits during his career, still the fourth best of all time, including 475 home runs and a .331 lifetime batting average. He won the National League’s MVP award three times, as well as three World Series championships with the Cards. Following his retirement after the 1963 season, Musial became President Lyndon Johnson’s physical fitness adviser.

In his 2007 biography of Musial, Joseph Stanton noted that “the Man” once asked for a paycut when he didn’t perform to his own expectations. He his wife, Lil, brought up their children in the Catholic faith and did not tolerate excuses for missing Sunday Mass. By all accounts Musial was a clean-cut, disciplined man, a faithful husband and an involved father. Someone not only our children, but we as fathers would want to emulate.

Hats off to an American baseball hero!