Family, friends say their final goodbyes to Stan Musial

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by KMOV.com staff

KMOV.com

Posted on January 26, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 24 at 5:04 AM

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- Family, friends and some members of the public were in attendance at the funeral mass for Stan Musial Saturday morning at the Cathedral Basilica.

The ceremony started at 11 a.m. with immediate family processing in with the casket of Stanley Frank Musial. Bill DeWitt III, Bill Suntrup and family members acted as pallbearers for the ceremony.

Bishop Richard Stika gave a baseball-inspired homily with His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan in attendance. Stika gave gratitude to Albert Pujols who would always shift the title "The Man" back to Musial.

Bill Dewitt Jr., Bob Costas and his grandson, Andrew Edmonds gave emotional remarks of remembrance of Stan. Dewitt said, "He inspired managers, players, coaches and staff. Stan was the heart and soul of the Cardinals for generations."

Bob Costas quoted Mickey Mantle saying, "Stan was a better player than me because he was a better man than me." Costas also spoke of Musial saying "our greatest ballplayer, sure, but also our friend and neighbor." Musial's son-in-law Martin Schwarze said that "what you saw in the public, we saw in the private life."

Schwartze spoke of Musial's final moment, saying, "He did not suffer at all, it was as peacefully as any of us would want it."  The family believed he would pass at 6 p.m., fitting of his jersey number. In true Musial fashion, he died at exactly 5:45 p.m. Friday, January 18.  Schwarze reminded the audience of Stan's line, "If you're not 15 minutes early, you're late."

Family and friends processed behind the hearse carrying "The Man" to Busch Stadium and his statue at 8th and Clark Street. There, the family placed a special wreath at the foot of the statue, said the "Lord's Prayer," and continued to the private burial site.

Fans adorned the streets around the statue, giving cheers and well wishes to the family.

The ceremony concluded just before 2 p.m. when the procession left downtown St. Louis for a private ceremony at Musial's final resting spot.

On Thursday, thousands of fans turned out for Musial’s public visitation at the ornate Roman Catholic church, many of them bundled up against the bitter cold in red Cardinals jackets.

Musial, a 24-time All-Star who remained a beloved figure in his adopted hometown a half-century after his playing career ended, died Saturday after years of declining health. He was 92.

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