Jefferson City, Mo. — Missouri is one step closer to the “Stan Musial Memorial Bridge,” thanks in large part to senators John Lamping, R-27, and Eric Schmitt, R-15. Schmitt and Lamping chose to combine their bills SB’s 176 and 192 respectively.
The bills would name the new Missouri bridge on Interstate 70 running to southwest Illinois from downtown St. Louis as the “Stan Musial Bridge,” in memorial of the recently deceased Cardinal’s player and Major League Baseball Hall of Famer, Stan Musial.
The legislation was heard at the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in the Senate on Wednesday, Feb 6. There is no major resistance to the bill at this time.
“I am pleased this legislation moved as quickly as it did,” Lamping said. “Stan Musial is the type of individual we should aspire to be — the type you should create monuments for. He was a humble and modest man full of dignity and grace. Naming the bridge after him is a perfect tribute to all he did for the region.”
Love of ‘Stan the Man’ was in no short supply during the hearing. Schmitt spent several minutes pitching the legislation to the committee. He recited Musial’s career statistics from memory. They are as follows:
.331 Batting Average
471 Home Runs
House member and Budget Committee Chairman Rick Stream, R-94, said Musial retired when he was 14, and that he had an opportunity to see Musial play in person, something not all legislators in the Capitol can say.
“He was such an incredible guy,” Stream said. “He would stay after games for hours and hours, signing every single autograph they put in front of him, he wouldn’t leave. That’s why he was beloved not just in Saint Louis, but all over the country. He’d get standing ovations everywhere, and he was the consummate gentlemen everywhere.”
Stream said that every child in the neighborhood who was “serious” about baseball would imitate ‘Stan the Man.’
“You know that left handed stance of his, real low and squat, we all tried to imitate that, we all tried it,” Stream said. “It always looked like he was peaking around the corner. None of us did it very well, of course, because we were kids and thought maybe his stance is why he was so good.”
Stream had no problem showing off his best Musial impression, holding an invisible bat over his shoulder as he tried to show The Missouri Times just how Stan did it.
The cost of the legislation is non-existent. Signage is needed to identify the bridge, should the bill pass. However, the bill maintains this relatively low cost will be covered by private donations.