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Medal Of Freedom

February 15, 2011 by USA Post 

Medal Of Freedom, (AP) – Baseball great Stan Musial has a statue outside Busch Stadium and a plaque in Cooperstown, NY On Tuesday, the former St. Louis Cardinal has received the highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal Freedom. Musial was among 15 recipients honored at a ceremony at the White House. President Barack Obama called the Hall-of-Famer “a man you want your children to emulate.”

Musial, 90, wore his coat Cardinals familiar red sports during the ceremony shown on TV St. Louis and St. Louis Post-Dispatch website. He beamed as the President placed the medal around his neck.

Missouri politicians said the honor was appropriate for the baseball immortal whose nickname, “The Man”, was appropriate for his philanthropy and kindness as for his on-field success.

U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay, a St. Louis Democrat, recalled watching from the stands Musial Sportsman’s Park as a boy, and then gets to know him as an adult. Musial said he showed great courage in 1947 by hosting Jackie Robinson, first player in black baseball in the National League.

“Stan Musial is a national treasure,” said Clay. “His remarkable life is the best of America.”

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., Said Musial was not only the greatest Cardinal ever “, but a great philanthropist, who used his fame to help others in need.”

Jay Nixon said the governor of the medal is “appropriate for a man who is both a baseball immortal and a gentleman and great American.”

Musial, native of Donora, Pennsylvania, was signed by the Cardinals as a pitcher but converted to the outfield after a shoulder injury in the minor leagues. This worked.

There was a 24-times All-Star who retired after the 1963 season with a .331 batting average and 475 home runs. In his 3630 career hits, exactly half had at home and half on the road.

He earned the nickname “The Man” in 1946, when Post-Dispatch sports fans heard Bob Broeg Ebbets Field Musial welcome to the plate saying, “Behold the Man.”

Musial was the CEO of the 1967 Cardinals team that won the World Series against the Boston Red Sox.

He remained a beloved figure in St. Louis. In fact, it was a basic “stand for Stan” campaign that helped persuade the White House in honor Musial with the Medal of Freedom. The Cardinals have promoted the idea through Facebook, Twitter and other social media, and politicians have quickly joined in letter writing campaigns.

Musial is held in high esteem, for example by the team and its players as the current Cardinals star Albert Pujols has agreed to extend its deadline until Wednesday to sign a contract extension or test free agency after the 2011 season. The previous deadline was Tuesday, but Pujols and the Cardinals did not lose sight of the honor Musial.

The Medal of Freedom is given to those who have made significant contributions to U.S. national security, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private initiatives. Other winners on Tuesday included former President George HW Bush, the cellist Yo-Yo Ma, basketball Bill Russell and businessman Warren Buffett.

Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

[Source: image via Wiki]

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