ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Almost immediately after word began to spread last Saturday that St. Louis Cardinals legend Stan “The Man” Musial had passed away at the age of 92, fans started heading down to Busch Stadium and the larger-than-life statue of “baseball’s perfect knight”.
They brought with them homemade signs, baseball hats, gloves, signed baseballs, balloons and other mementos, physical manifestations of their love and respect for the man often referred to as the “greatest Cardinal of them all”.
That makeshift memorial remains in place nearly a week later, but practicality demands that those items can’t stay there forever.
And when the time comes to remove it all?
“The fans who brought down those mementos…can they be rest assured that this stuff won’t just be chucked into the nearest Dumpster?,” KMOX News asked Cards’ media relations director Brian Bartow.
“No it will be saved, believe me,” Bartow replied. “It will be presented to the Musial family and if they wish they can allow the Cardinals to take possession of it to display in the soon-to-come Cardinals Hall of Fame in Ballpark Village.”
He pointed out the same issue came up when memorials sprouted up outside the stadium following the deaths of KMOX broadcasting legend Jack Buck and Cards’ pitcher Darryl Kile.
In each of those cases, after a certain amount of time the items were tenderly gathered up and presented to the families.
“And some of those keepsakes we’ve been fortunate enough to keep within our archives for future display,” Bartow said.