ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The vintage #6 jersey was in style at the Cardinals Care Winter Warm-Up fan fest in downtown St. Louis on Sunday.
Dozens wore replica Stan Musial items in tribute to the Hall of Famer who died Saturday at the age of 92.
Charlie Collins from Granite City, Ill. was one of the fans sporting “The Man’s” familiar number on his back, “He was my boyhood idol, so I’m in mourning. I came over here to pay my respects, put the jersey on, and have a good time. It’s what Stan would want.” Collins told KMOX News as a ten-year-old he saw Musial hit three home runs during a doubleheader at Sportsman’s Park.
Tom Kyle from St. Louis also remembers Musial’s playing days, “My Dad took me to see Stan—made sure I got to see him play. I was one of the 500,000 people in the stadium the day he retired (chuckles). I remember him wearing the Boy Scout neckerchief. I was in Scouts at the time and it was important to me.”
Former Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa was signing autographs on Sunday at the Warm-Up and spoke with KMOX’s Ron Jacober about the passing of his friend, “We’re all really selfish. We knew he (Musial) was struggling, but you want people like that to live forever. It’s very sad.” LaRussa says he’ll always remember the time when Stan the Man played harmonica at one of his Animal Rescue Foundation charity fundraisers in California alongside members of the rock band The Eagles.
Hall of Famer Red Schoendienst was Musial’s roommate for around a decade with the Cardinals and remained a close friend to the end, “It was pretty tough for him (his health decline in recent weeks). He’d talk just so much and that would be it. You’d try to speak with him and… I knew what he was going through. He knew what he was going through. It became hard for me to go over and say hello to him. It’s a tough day, but I know he’s looking down on us right now.”
Schoendienst recalled what it was like being Stan’s teammate, “He knew what was happening on the ballfield. He knew when to take an extra base. He knew what outfielder had a great arm. He really didn’t need a coach.”
Schoendienst said he loved to be around Musial off the field, too, “He was easy to meet, easy to talk to. People could meet him and he made everybody feel like they were part of him.”
Winter Warm-Up attendee Tony from Webster Groves agrees, “I was at a card show and my wife took a picture of me with Stan. He reached over the table to shake my hand. After the photo I started pulling away and Stan tugged me back, saying ‘Let’s take another one.’ I’ll never forget that as long as I live.”