DES PERES, MO. (KTVI) – As we remember Stan Musial, we’re finding most people’s memories of him were forged away from the ballpark and Stan was “The Man” to more than famous ball players.
Musial went to the Stan Musial Grill at the Missouri Athletic Club (MAC)-West, for lunch nearly every day, Monday – Friday, for 9 years.
It was, in a way, Stan The Man`s lunch time, home away from home.
The staff kept his favorite table reserved, overlooking the tennis courts.
He most certainly had his menu favorites.
‘He liked ham and cheese with applesauce; chocolate chip cookies, with chocolate and cheesecake,’ said worker Victoria Lenz.
He became so enamored with the staff; he shared big moments in his life here:
birthdays after birthday after birthday. The day after President Obama gave him the Medal of Freedom, he wore it to MAC to show the workers.
A waitress named Debbie was his favorite.
People who eat there, were treated to a Hall of Fame-like cache of signed memorabilia, that Stan and his wife, Lil, donated: his photos with presidents, baseball legends like Willie Mays, and autographed clocks, noting the time in all of his favorite cities – including St. Louis, Cooperstown, Rome, and his hometown, Donora, PA.
But the people don`t remember the stuff as much as they remember ‘The Man’.
‘We saw him here for lunch almost every single day,’ said customer John Hoarn.
‘Great people showing up for his birthdays, his friends, Cardinals players, good times,’ Lenz said sadly.
‘I would get really excited because it was really cool to up close to him,’ said 12 year old Katy Hoarn. ‘I once gave him a salute and it was really fun…he went like that (saluting) and nodded,’ she beamed. ‘It was really special to see him in real life.’
Grill Manager, Darrin Harnetaux, said Stan even put Cardinal Hall of Fame pitcher, Bob Gibson, in his place. Gibson, known as an intimidator on the mound, hated pickles and sternly warned the waitress if there was a pickle on his plate, he was sending it back. S
Stan told Gibson, in so many words, he better be nice to the workers. Mr. Gibson never barked at a waitress again.
Mr. Musial`s table was still set aside for him, Monday, with a plaque reading, ‘Table Reserved for Stan Musial.’