Only one man in St. Louis is powerful enough to delay the Albert Pujols Contract Apocalypse—it's Stan Musial, for whom the Cardinals and Pujols moved the deadline to Wednesday. Musial will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama this afternoon, becoming the eighth baseball player to receive the award. The ceremony will be broadcast at 12:30 PM CST at the White House's web site.â†µ
Musial, The Man by name and reputation, made the Hall of Fame for his .331/.417/.559 average, his 475 home runs and 725 doubles and 177 triples. He'll receive the award for, as the P-D notes, for "an especially meritorious contribution to security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavor."â†µ
Musial is, as the socialist-realist statue out front of Busch Stadium says, "baseball's perfect warrior; baseball's perfect knight." Less floridly, He's guy who's tried to set a good example in a game where setting a neutral example is both difficult and usually enough; he's a guy who had talent and grit and used both.