ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - On Saturady, family, friends, Cardinals players and managers, and, of course, Cardinal Nation said a final farewell to the greatest Cardinal of them all, Stan Musial. Musial passed away January 19, 2013, at the age of 92.
Musial's funeral mass was held at the Cathedral Basilica. Once invited guests were inside, the church was opened to the public for fans to attend the service. St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson was joined by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, a St. Louis native and Archbishop of New York, and other bishops for the service. Musial was eulogized by Bill Dewitt. Jr., Bob Costas, his grandson Andrew Edmonds, and his son-in-law Martin Schwarze.
After the mass, Stan Musial's body was taken in a hearse to Busch Stadium. Hundreds of fans lined the street outside of "Baseball Heaven" to say goodbye to "The Man". Many brought signs and almost all wore Cardinal red to show their support for the family. The family laid wreaths and flowers at the foot of the Stan Musial statue. They then got back in the car as fans sang an impromptu, "Take Me Out To The Ballgame".
The family thanked fans and then traveled on to the private burial.
Sports broadcaster and long time St. Louisan Bob Costas gave one of the eulogy’s at Stan Musial’s funeral. The speech is being heralded as nothing short of a masterpiece.
He started with a joke from Yogi Berra, “If you don’t go to other people’s funerals then they won’t come to yours.”
Costas told personal stories about his time with Stan and quoted baseball greats like Ty Cobb and Mickey Mantle about how they wished to emulate “The Man”.
At several points in the speech, Bob Costas got choked up when recalling Musial and his kindness to other players in the game.
Costas stated, “What made him a great American was not the size of his talent but his profound decency.”
Musial family members Martin Schwarze and Andrew Edmonds also gave memorable eulogies for Musial.
A devoted Catholic, the funeral was a homecoming for a man who tried to attend mass everyday. Family and the Archdiocese called Musial a model as a baseball player and as a faithful Catholic. Father Jason Schumer said the ceremony would start with honoring Musial's baptism.
"The child, with their parents, are met at the door. So, just like 92 years ago, when Stan`s parents brought him to church," Schumer explained, "so now we meet him once again in the back of church. The casket will be sprinkled with water, reminding us of that day of his baptism which was a day of hope, washed in the waters of baptism, and received into the church for this farewell for our prayers and that he will share in Christ`s resurrection"