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The news of the passing of my childhood hero, Stanley Frank Musial, bears heavily on my mind. Many memories over the years rush back as I recall my feelings for this man.
When I was about 13 or 14 and lived in Sparks, Ga., there was a hardware store that was run by a man named Robert Griffin.
Robert and his family later moved to Moultrie. His family included two sons, Rob and Ed, both of whom played football for the Packers and Ed also later played for Georgia Tech.
In the back of Robert’s store was an area where the old men (old to me at the time) played checkers while sitting on nail kegs and listening to the St. Louis Cardinal baseball games on the radio.
I was allowed to stand and watch and listen, provided I did not speak. It was at that time that I selected “Stan the Man” to be my hero.
I knew daily by reading the box scores in the Atlanta Journal what Stan’s daily batting average was. I loved the Cardinals, but especially loved Stan Musial. I knew nothing of his character or what kind of man he was at that time.
However, as I continued to follow him throughout his career, I learned that I had chosen not only one of the top 10 baseball players of all time, but an even greater man.
I am proud of my choice, and I love to read of the many contributions he made to our society and the awards he received for his services. I will miss that!