Four days after the death of baseball legend Stan Musial, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., proposed to honor his life and contributions to the state by naming the new Interstate 70 bridge the Stan Musial Memorial Bridge.
The bridge is being constructed over the Mississippi River, from St. Louis into East St. Louis, Il. McCaskill took the Senate floor just before 11 a.m. to introduce the legislation.
Musial, who died at age 92 on Jan. 19, played 22 seasons for the St. Louis Cardinals. He retired in 1963 and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1969 — the first year he was eligible.
Musial earned Most Valuable Player honors three times, and has the fourth-most hits in baseball history. He retired with 14 records and was the first player to make $100,000. He was named to the All-Star team 24 times and won seven National League batting titles, as well as leading the Cardinals to three World Series Championships. When he entered MLB in 1941, he was the fifth youngest player in history and retired in 1963 as the third oldest.
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Il., took the floor as majority whip to spread McCaskill’s message. Durbin said he would try to help her make this legislation become reality to “honor this American hero, this regional hero and the values that he stood for” with the naming of the bridge.
Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., also spoke to honor Musial’s life. He discussed Musial's achievements in baseball and life. Blunt said he remembers the first time he saw “Stan the Man” play and the first time he met Musial, while in office as Secretary of State. Blunt ended his speech saying, “Baseball was lucky to have him, Missouri was lucky to have him, the Cardinals and St. Louis were lucky to have him, and I’m pleased to be here today to say how much we appreciate Stan Musial.”
Durbin said baseball loyalty and Stan Musial were the things that united the citizens of Missouri and Illinois. Bills are currently in the General Assembly of both states, and both must be passed in order for the bridge to be named in his honor.
Durbin ended his speech on the floor, saying Musial will always be his hero.
“[Musial] didn’t make a lot of fiery speeches, he didn’t lead a movement, he didn’t try to promote himself as an angelic humanitarian,” Blunt said. “He just did good things.”