Two of the several thousands of viewers were leaving the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica on Thursday when the man turned to his tearful wife and said, "You know, there's no crying in baseball."
The wife responded, "There is when it comes to Stan Musial."
Cardinals David Freese and Jon Jay were among those who came to respect Musial, the great Cardinals Hall of Famer who died Saturday at age 92. They were not crying but they were moved by the steady stream of Cardinals and Musial fans who filed into the church and by the casket.
The two Cardinals players spent nearly an hour with the Musial family, including Brian Schwarze, Musial's grandson who Freese and Jay both knew.
"When you meet Mr. Musial's family, it's real easy to see what type of people they are," Freese said. "They're great people. To see such a continuous line move through and give respect to Stan was just incredible. It's simple to see what Mr. Musial meant to everybody else.''
Jay, who flew in from Miami for the public viewing, had met Musial only a few times but had been easily impressed.
"Coming from Miami, where there really wasn't a big baseball tradition, and then you find out what Cardinals baseball is all about, you hear stories about Stan and how he was involved in the community," Jay said. "He was much more than just a baseball player. For us, that's one of our goals. He really put things in perspective for us.
"He's inspired me to be more than a baseball player," said Jay, who, indeed, was returning to his hometown of Miami today along with Freese to participate in a charity event to be staged by Jay on Saturday.
Freese, Jay want to keep tradition alive
St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Jan 25