My grandfather tried out for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1936. He didn't make the team, but he rooted for the Cards the rest of his life.
My grandfather's favorite player was Stan Musial. An all-around nice guy that was also a great baseball player. A combination that is now harder to find in any sport. Stan was one of those guys you always pulled for, whether you were a Cardinals fan, a Yankees fan (like myself), or you followed another team. I never saw Stan play, but I collected his cards, and his autograph, and I knew what he meant to George, my grandfather.
With Stan's passing, I am reminded that another piece of my childhood is no longer on this earth. Yet no matter how much the names and the faces among us change, the meaning of those we love never does. In your hopes and dreams, the people we care about are always in an eternal spring, waiting to step out on the ballfield for one more swing, and one more wave to the fans.
Here's to life, baseball, and the dreams that never grow old. Safe travels, Stan, and say hello to George for me. He's been waiting to say hello.
January 19, 2013