Presidential Medal of Freedom to Stan Musial

St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Famer to receive highest US civilian award for "meritorious contribution."

The White House announced on Wednesday that President Barack Obama will award St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Famer Stan Musial the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The highest civilian award in the U.S. recognizes those who have made "an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."

Musial on Opening Day 2010
Cardinals Chairman William DeWitt Jr. called to congratulate Mr. Musial. Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig offered his congratulations as well.

"On behalf of all of Major League Baseball, I am truly thrilled that The White House has honored Stan Musial with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, joining other legends of our game like the great Jackie Robinson, Roberto Clemente, Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Buck O'Neil, Henry Aaron and Frank Robinson," Selig said.

"Stan Musial is an extraordinary human being, a great American and one of the best players in the history of the game. He has long been a treasure of St. Louis, but he represents all the best of our national pastime. Today, our game salutes Stan Musial on this highest honor from our country."

DeWitt thanked the President, as well as thousands of Cardinals fans and area elected officials for taking a "Stand for Stan" this season to honor Musial's lifetime of achievement and service.

Musial in 1942
"We are very grateful that President Obama will award Stan Musial the Presidential Medal of Freedom," DeWitt said. "Not only is Stan one of the greatest players to play the game of baseball, he is also an extraordinary American deserving of the nation's highest civilian honor."

DeWitt thanked Cardinals fans and elected officials for enthusiastically embracing the team's "Stand for Stan" campaign, the team's season-long celebration of Stan Musial.

"Throughout the summer, Cardinals fans of all ages have demonstrated the depth and breadth of their affection for the greatest Cardinal ever," DeWitt said.

To read more about the accomplishments of the man we named the top player in the history of the St. Louis Cardinals franchise, click here.

Others reportedly set to receive the 2011 award along with Musial are investor Warren Buffett and former Boston Celtics great Bill Russell.

Click on the highlighted link to see the names of some the over 20,000 past winners of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Note: The primary source of the information in this article was a St. Louis Cardinals press release, though other supporting materials were used.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Selected TCN content appears at Follow Brian on Twitter.

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