WASHINGTON, DC (KMOV) – Congressman Wm. Lacy Clay (D) Missouri praised the impressive display of bipartisan support that resulted in the compromised legislation that he cosponsored to designate the new I-70 bridge over the Mississippi River as the “Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge.”
The bill was approved on Tuesday in the U.S. House by a vote of 395-2.
During his time on the House floor, Clay shared memories from his own childhood about the St. Louis legend.
“As the U.S. Representative who has the honor of representing the St. Louis Cardinals, it is a special privilege for me to speak about Stan Musial from the perspective of a Member of Congress, and also from the memory of a young boy at old Sportsmen’s Park with my Dad, former Congressman Bill Clay, as we watched Stan play near the end of his remarkable career. Stan Musial was simply one of the greatest baseball players of all time. In 22 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals, he helped them win three world championships. He won 7 national league batting titles, three most valuable player awards, and at the time of his retirement in 1963…Stan Musial held 17 individual major league baseball records.'
The Congressman also praised Musial’s courage in opposition to discrimination and racial intolerance.
He added, “In his own quiet way, Stan Musial was also on the vanguard of fighting discrimination and changing America. When some white players on the St. Louis Cardinals threatened to boycott the game if they were forced to play with blacks, Musial stood tall for justice and stopped the boycott before it started. When Stan died, stories from those difficult days were told with great reverence and respect.”
Upon learning of Musial’s death, Hall of Famer Willie Mays recalled a story from an all-star game in the 1950’s.
Mays remembered playing cards with Hank Aaron, Ernie banks, and Frank Robinson in one corner of the National League clubhouse before the game.
The white ballplayers on the National League roster either ignored them or were openly hostile.
So Stan Musial, who by then was one of the biggest stars in the game, simply walked over, sat down, and said…”Deal me in.”
"That was his way of saying, fellas, you belong here, It’s gonna get better, and I’m glad to have you on my team," said Mays.
When asked about his friend’s passing, the great Hank Aaron…baseball’s legitimate all-time home run king, and someone who faced much hateful racism himself said this of Stan:
“I not only liked Stan Musial, I wanted to be like Stan Musial.”
Congressman Clay also thanked his colleagues Representatives Davis, Enyart, Wagner, Shimkus and Luetkemeyer for their hard work on this legislation.
The bill now heads to the U.S. Senate for consideration.