June 6th (6/6) -Should Be Stan Musial Day Every Year in St. Louis
Editor’s Note: The following article is written by Daniel Shoptaw, founder and our leader at the United Cardinal Bloggers. Daniel has an awesome blog at C70 at the Bat. Be sure to check it out. This idea is fantastic and I believe it should create unabashed enthusiasm every year as it rolls around.
6/6. Stan Musial Day. Every year.
I am probably not the first to come up with this idea, but I don’t think I’ve seen it anywhere else. I think this would be an incredible way to honor a player that was more in tune with the fabric of his city than any other. There’s never been any doubt that Stan was one of the greatest to ever play and one of the greatest off the field as well. This combination needs to be recognized in perpetuity. Because the generation that saw Musial play regularly is getting older, and there will come a time when the generation that just knew Musial as a legend, a red jacket on Opening Day, will pass as well. Musial deserves to be immortalized so that generations to come will stop and realize just who he was and what he meant to this city and this organization.
Of course, besides the stance and perhaps the harmonica, nothing is more tied to Stan than his number. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that when the marketing campaign for Mobil On The Run came along, they selected six to be their serious number. Six is embedded into the organization because of The Man that wore it last and best.
Which means that June 6–6/6, of course–is the perfect day to have a perpetual Stan Musial Day. Like the Jackie Robinson tribute comes around every April 15 and we honor him for what he did in breaking the color barrier in baseball, so should June 6 come to be the day everyone stops and remembers that left-handed swing or the humble man who fashioned it. (I’m not saying that everyone on the team should wear 6 as their jersey that day, don’t get me wrong. Let’s leave the number on the wall where it belongs.)
What would this entail? I envision that every year, the Cardinals would wear a jersey from Stan’s career. Maybe they go with the 1942 version one year to celebrate that World Series team, maybe they’d go with 1963 one year to honor his retirement. I think they could mix it up–there are, after all, 23 different years to choose from.
There should be a Stan Musial giveaway of some sort. The Cards are doing that already this year, with a poster giveaway against the Diamondbacks. Maybe one year it’s a pennant, one year it’s a baseball card, one year they bring back the harmonicas. Something that ties to Stan in some way.
Normally, the first pitch should be thrown out by a member of Stan’s family. Child, grandchild, great-grandchild, someone who has the Musial blood in their veins. However, if the club was to start this in 2013, being that the Musial family has already thrown out first pitches this season, I would suggest that Stan’s long-time teammate and friend Red Schoendienst get the honors. He might not have been physically related to the Musials, but I expect he was considered family anyway.
If the team is at home, a portion of the proceeds of the game should be dedicated to a charity that either Stan personally supported or one that would seem to fit his spirit. For instance, there’s a Stan Musial Scholarship Fund, which would work, or Covenant House Missouri, where people were directed in lieu of flowers at his passing. If the team is away, a fixed amount should be donated instead.
Which brings me to my last suggestion. I believe the Cardinals should petition Major League Baseball to instruct the schedule makers to always have the Cards in St. Louis on June 6. It’s not an unheard of request–the Red Sox always play at home on Patriot Day, for instance–but it is unique enough to honor The Man in a special way. It’s not a requirement–save for the giveaways and the first pitch, the Cards could celebrate Stan Musial Day on the road as well, just using special road jerseys–but it would seem to mean more if it could always be held in front of the fanbase that cheered Musial on and in the city where he meant so much.
I encourage the Cardinals to implement this. Save for the jerseys (which, I expect, would take longer than two weeks to arrange), all aspects of this could be handled this year. As noted, there’s already a Stan giveaway for that day. Let’s give Stan that holiday on the baseball calendar he’s always deserved!