Stan Musial, a giant in the St. Louis community and the baseball world for more than half a century, died Saturday at his home in Ladue.
"Stan the Man passed peacefully at home at 5:45 pm tonight of natural causes. Life will never be the same without baseball's perfect knight," his grandson, Brian Musial Schwarze said via Twitter Saturday evening. Musial was 92 and had been in poor health in recent years.
Musial, who entered baseball's Hall of Fame in 1969, played 22 years for the St. Louis Cardinals, amassing 3,630 hits and 24 All-Star Game appearances in a career full of superlatives.
Musial, father of three daughters and a son, was unpretentious, untroubled, friendly and folksy. The harmonica he played at Hall of Fame weekends and other public gatherings fit his image and humanized him for the masses who saw him as a Louisville Slugger deity. It was as though he copyrighted the greeting, "Whaddya say? Whaddya say? Whaddya say?" The words always came with a gentle smile.
In 2011, Musial made the trip to Washington, DC, where President Barack Obama awarded him the Medal of Freedom. "Stan remains to this day an icon untarnished, a beloved pillar of the community, a gentleman you'd want your kids to emulate," the President said, while presenting the honor.
The Cardinals announced that in lieu of flowers, donations should be made to Covenant House or a charity of a fan's choice in the name of Stan Musial. The team said a memorial area has been set up at the Musial statue outside Gate 3 at Busch Stadium.
Funeral arrangements have not been finalized.