Veteran sportscaster and St. Louis native Bob Costas spoke for over 19 minutes at the funeral for Musial Saturday, a week after the Baseball Hall of Famer died at the age of 92. Costas says he spoke at the request of Musial, who asked him late in life to deliver the eulogy at his funeral.
Costas discussed the underrated nature of Musial’s playing career. He noted that while Musial had excellent overall numbers, there was no single stat from his career that stood out, nor were there any remarkable or captivating aspects of his personality.
“It seems that all that Stan had going for him was more than two decades of sustained excellence as a ballplayer, and nine decades as a thoroughly decent human being,” noted Costas.
Costas also talked about the strong connection Musial had to St. Louis, and how the two were great matches for each other.
“He remained the perfect embodiment of baseball in the city where baseball matters the most.”
19 minutes is a long time to spend watching a video, so if you are unable to sit through the whole thing, we highly suggest you skip to the 8:00 mark where Costas tells a great story about Musial breaking a color barrier in an All-Star Game clubhouse.
According to Costas, at one of the all-star games in the 1950s, several black members of the NL All-Star team — guys like Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Frank Robinson and Ernie Banks — were gathered in a corner of the NL clubhouse playing cards. They kept to themselves likely because they did not feel welcome. As the story goes, Musial walked over to the group and asked them to deal him in for their next hand. As Costas says, that was Musial’s way of telling the players they were welcome.
Costas cried a bit while telling that story, and it was hard not to get caught up in the emotion and cry with him.
Costas delivered a wonderful tribute to someone who by many accounts was a wonderful man.