Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Bob Costas's Eulogy For Stan Musial Was Midwestern Sports Reverence At Its Finest

Illustration for article titled Bob Costass Eulogy For Stan Musial Was Midwestern Sports Reverence At Its Finest

The gee whiz school of sports coverage has lost ground for years to the aw nuts crowd, largely because fans and media alike don't like playing the patsy to athletes' bogus lore. Lance was doping. Bobby Thomson stole signs. Manti was mourning a photograph with a nice voice. What's the world coming to when you can't even believe in leukemia.

Then a ray of gee whiz bursting through the night: Bob Costas in his hometown eulogizing St. Louis Cardinals great Stan Musial, dead at 92. That was the Musial who collected 3,630 hits in his career, went to 24 All-Star games, won three MVP awards, won seven batting titles, once played harmonica on Hee Haw and who generally earned his moniker as The Man. Costas managed to channel schoolboy admiration and reverence for "the genuine hero who as the years and decades passed, and disillusionment came from other directions, never once let us down."

The eulogy might be a maudlin paean to Midwestern humility/obscurity ("it is more important to be appreciated than to be glorified" is a line custom-fitted to comfort Missourians on being Missourians) but more than that, it's a fond remembrance of a time bygone. If you wonder why your grandfather cared more about baseball than your kids ever will, Costas explains why. Don't miss him choking up in the ninth and in the 14th minutes as he describes Musial's grace during baseball's integration and Mickey Mantle's heartbreaking admiration for Musial. "He was a better player than me," the Mick apparently told Costas, "because he was a better man than me." Mantle was already eulogizing himself with that line, as well as Musial, who earned the praise for years more.


Bob Costas Gives Emotional Eulogy For Musial []

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