Stan Musial took a long, slow lap in a golf cart around the Busch Stadium warning track as part of the St. Louis Cardinals' campaign to have the Hall of Famer honored with the Presidential Freedom medal.
The 89-year-old Musial rode with his wife, Lil, and other family members before the bottom the sixth inning of Saturday’s game against the Colorado Rockies.
Players from both teams stood outside the dugout during the tribute, many of them holding cardboard Musial cutouts that are part of the team’s campaign.
The cutouts depict a cartoonish Musial wearing a big grin and brandishing a self-autographed bat with arms and legs outstretched.
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The cart slowed alongside the dugouts, giving Musial time to shake as many hands as possible. Fellow Hall of Famer Red Schoendienst, who played with and managed Musial, was part of the Cardinals’ receiving line.
“I wanted to be out there and shake his hand,” Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse said. “It’s obviously not every day you get to have a little tribute and express how much he’s loved and how much people appreciate what he’s done.”
The Cardinals launched the campaign in May, aiming to convince President Barack Obama to bestow and honor Musial with the most prestigious award a civilian can receive in the United States.
Bobby Cox reached behind his sunglasses to dab his eyes a few times as the Atlanta Braves paid tribute to their longtime manager.
The ceremony attracted about 70 former players and coaches, who all wore their white Braves jerseys and sat in the infield.
Cox received a 2010 Lexus LS460 from the Braves and an 11-night cruise from his current players. Cox said “Holy Cow!” when shown a picture of another gift – a bench made with autographed bats, balls and baseball cards from every player on the team.
The 60-year-old Cox is retiring after the season, his 29th as a major league manager, including 25 with the Braves. The Braves began the day with a lead in the NL wild-card race.
Manager Dusty Baker said the Cincinnati Reds are still mulling the final spots for their playoff roster. He plans to announce his three-man starting rotation today. … The Red Sox honored retiring infielder Mike Lowell, the 2007 World Series MVP, during a pregame ceremony. The 20-minute tribute took place near third base. … The Royals exercised their $6 million option on outfielder David DeJesus for next season. DeJesus’ season was limited to 91 games after he had season-ending surgery on his right thumb after crashing into the fence at Yankee Stadium. He batted .318.