The Angels are wearing a Stan Musial No. 6 patch on the breast of their jerseys for this week’s series against the St. Louis Cardinals in honor of the former Cardinals Hall of Fame outfielder, who died Jan. 19 at the age of 92.
“Stan was a great player but an even better person,” Angels slugger Albert Pujols, who had a close relationship with Musial during his 11 years in St. Louis, said before Tuesday night’s game at Angel Stadium. “He needs to be remembered not only in St. Louis but all over the country.”
Musial hit .331 with 475 home runs and 1,951 runs batted in during a 22-year career that spanned from 1941 to '63, and he missed the 1945 season while serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II.
Musial was known for his grace and sportsmanship — he was never ejected by an umpire during his career — and he developed a special relationship with Cardinals fans, who nicknamed him, “Stan the Man.”
He served for more than 25 years as the team’s vice president and general manager and remained closely connected to the team until his death. In 2011, President Obama awarded Musial the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.
The idea to honor Musial during the Angels-Cardinals series was hatched during a spring-training conversation between Pujols and Angels President John Carpino.
Musial’s grandson, Brian Schwarze, who is also close to Pujols, will throw out one of two ceremonial pitches before Tuesday night’s game, and the Angels will play a tribute video honoring Musial on the scoreboard in the top of the second inning.
“Stan was my buddy; I wish I had more opportunities to talk to him,” Pujols said. “When he walked into the clubhouse, it was like a light. Everybody would stop what they were doing. It’s sad to lose Stan, but I think he’s in a better place now.”