The number one story of 2013 was the loss of a true St. Louis Cardinals hero…..Stan Musial. It was January 19th when St. Louis cried. A well known warrior in all of Major League Baseball had made his final at bat. It was a day I would never forget. It was Bob Costas that said it best during his eulogy for Musial….
Long after we’re all gone, the numbers will still show a good part of what Stan Musial meant to the Game. But what may be harder to understand is what he meant to us. In the late 1960s, the great Paul Simon asked, “Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?” It was the right metaphor at the right time and he picked the right player to make his point. But no one in St. Louis ever had to wonder where Stan Musial had gone. He was right here. Right here at home. Our greatest ballplayer sure, but also our friend. Our neighbor. And that is why our bond and attachment between this player and this city is unique and lasting. Other great players may have had an aura about them; a mystique that made them seem unapproachable. Not Stan.
Every one of us, and through the years countless others, have their own personal stories not just of seeing him play but of running into him at the grocery store, the hardware store, a grandchild’s soccer game or high school graduation and having been touch by his good-naturedness, his graciousness, his buoyant personality. The second story of the year was the Cardinals winning the NL Central Division for the ninth time for the past nineteen years. What a fun series it was. We saw Michael Wacha and Adam Wainwright beat the Pittsburgh Pirates for the NL Central Division. My third story was Matt Carpenter’s incredible year. What a year he had. He broke Rogers Hornsby NL doubles record with 47. His other accomplishments include leading the NL in Hits (172) and Runs (110), and is a serious contender for the MVP Award. The fourth story was the amazing rookie pitchers which include Carlos Martinez, Michael Wacha, Shelby Miller, Seth Maness and Trevor Rosenthal. My fifth and final story is the David Freese trade. This trade gave us Peter Bourjos and Randel Grichuk. Cardinals came out on top with this trade by landing Grichuk, he just happens to be a Rawlings Gold Glove award winner and a quality power hitter.