Stan "The Man" Musial

"How good was Stan Musial? He was good enough to take your breath away." -- Vin Scully
On November 21, 1920, halfway up the hill on Sixth Street in Donora (just a few blocks from the location of our museum), in a modest two-story house, Lukasz and Mary Musial added to their family when Mary gave birth to a son, they would name Stanislaw Franciszek (Stanley Frank) Musial.  Polish immigrant Lukasz would start his young son Stanley, nicknamed Stashu or Stash (stush), in athletics with the local Polish Falcons - Nest 247, a Polish social club that promoted physical fitness and participated in track and field and gymnastics meets around the northeast United States against other Falcon clubs. It is here that Stash or Stanley received his first athletic uniform as well as the coordination, timing and strength that would set the foundation and propel him into two other sports as a young teen: basketball and baseball.
Musial, a Donora High School class of 1939 graduate, excelled in basketball well enough to where he had the opportunity to attend the University of Pittsburgh on a scholarship. Lukasz was determined that his son would go to college and get an education to escape the hard life of working in the local steel mills. In the photo to the right is the 1937-38 Donora High School Section Four Champion basketball team (left to right): Dick Ercius - C, Stan Musial - F, George Kosko - G, Flo Garcia - G, Joe Gray - C, and Gene Norton - F. 
At the same time that Musial was doing well in basketball, he was doing equally as well in baseball. As a young teen, he was already competing against grown men in local mill leagues, playing for the Donora Zincs, and catching the eye of professional scouts.
When it came time to choose a sport, Musial went against the wishes of his father, albeit with the encouragement of his mother, and chose his first love: baseball. As a young man and after a tryout at Monessen's Page Park, the St. Louis Cardinals signed Musial as a pitcher, but he was also a fairly good batsman.
After some early arm trouble, Musial settled in as an outfielder/first baseman and would go on to terrorize major league pitching and become one of the best hitters of all time earning his nickname of "Stan The Man" and a spot in baseball's Hall of Fame. Of the over 19,000 men that played professional baseball, Musial is often considered in the top ten players.
While Musial was considered one of the all-time greats as a sportsman, the trait that makes Donora most proud, is the fact that he is considered an even better human being.
Donora has a military banner program to honor all veterans sponsored by their respective families. Both Stan Musial and Ken Griffey Sr. have military banners that usually hang on the poles at Sixth Street and McKean Avenue, just across the street from the Smog Museum.
Stan Musial served in World War II with the U.S. Navy from 1945-46. His banner can be seen in the photo to the left or in person directly across Sixth Street from the Smog Museum.
Musial continued his membership at the Donora American Legion - Post 212 up until his passing in 2013 - 2013 Post-Gazette Obituary - Stan Musial.
In 1994, the Stan "The Man" Musial Baseball Field in Donora's Palmer Park was dedicated with Stan Musial in attendance. To see the 15-minute dedication speeches click - Stan Musial 1994 Field Dedication.
On May 4, 2012, the Donora-Monessen Bridge that spans the Monongahela River was renamed the Stan "The Man" Musial Bridge.
Unfortunately, on May 3, 2012, Stan Musial's loving wife, Lillian Labash Musial, passed away and none of the Musial family could be in attendance for the bridge dedication that took place in Donora that next day. 2012 Lillian Labash Musial obituary.
On May 4, 2012, after the renaming of the Stan "The Man" Musial Bridge, souvenir postcards were distributed to all attendees.
This project was completed in Donora by Badzik Printing Services, Inc. Owner Tim Urda used his artistic flare to create the postcard image to the right.
On July 30, 2022, a Stan "The Man" Musial historic marker was unveiled at the corner of Sixth Street and Meldon Avenue. Stan was born on Sixth Street. Click Stan Musial Plaque Event 2022 for additional details on our website of what took place during that Stan Musial weekend (Friday and Saturday.)
Learn more about Stan "The Man" Musial and his involvement in the Polish Falcons, basketball, and baseball, as well as his military career, acceptance of the 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom, and renaming of the National Sportsmanship Awards to the The Musial Awards in 2012 at the Donora Historical Society and Smog Museum. 
Click on our site's Merchandise tab to see some of the Stan Musial #16 Donora High School throwback jerseys and books being sold by the Donora Historical Society and order yours today.
On August 21, 22 and 23, 2023, while the Pittsburgh Pirates were hosting the St. Louis Cardinals, AT&T Sportsnet promoted our Stan Musial #16 Donora High School throwback jerseys while broadcasting those games.
Stan "The Man" Musial Digital Story:In April 2019, as part of a Cal U of PA English Honors class titled "Digital Storytelling" that was also sponsored by the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, three students (Amanda Considine, Maria Dovshek and Destiny Ortiz) created this video about Stan "The Man" Musial. Click on their YouTube video titled "Stan the Man Musial" to view. (Note: Stan Musial retired from Major League Baseball in 1963 and not 1953.)
Another Stan "The Man" Musial Digital Story:In May 2024, as part of a Cal U of PA English Honors class titled "Digital Storytelling" that was also sponsored by the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, three students (Rex Rininger, Brooklyn Karas, and Ethan Harclerode) created this video about Stan "The Man" Musial. Click on their YouTube video titled "The Champion of Donora" to view.
Stan Musial shares his birthday of November 21st with another famous Donoran, Ken Griffey Jr., who was born 49 years after Musial in 1969. Both are in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. 
Ken Jr's father Ken Griffey Sr. was also an accomplished baseball player whose profile can be read on our site's Home of Champions page.
In the photo to the right, Ken Griffey, Jr. is shown with Stan Musial. They can both be seen in this MLB video about their birthday connection - Donora, Pa.'s two all-time greats.
The Musial Family today continues to raise money in memory of Stan for charitable organizations like the St. Louis Area Foodbank by selling jars of "Stan 'The Man' #6 Original BBQ Sauce" in local St. Louis stores.
We have a jar on display in our Stan Musial exhibit that was sent by our good friend and "Stan The Man Super Fan" Jerry Rombach, who had a couple jars sent from St. Louis to his current home in Kenai, Alaska. He then had one of those jars sent to us in Donora -- meaning the jar travelled over 8,100 miles. To see Jerry and his wife Cindy when they visited us in July, 2015, please click on our site's Gallery tab.
Stan "The Man" Musial at the University of Pittsburgh through Osher:
In 2019, the Donora Historical Society was one of five Heinz History Center (HHC) Affiliate historical sites chosen out of over 400 to help teach the second HHC sponsored Osher Lifelong Learning Institute's (OLLI) program at the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt.) OLLI aspires to create a dedicated intellectual environment for older adult students, nurturing a lifelong passion for learning by attending university classes. OLLI fosters lifelong learning through courses and programs that engage the learner, provide social interaction, and enrich lives. OLLI's faculty, which includes Pitt professors and retired faculty, challenge participants to understand the cultural forces of today, to interact socially and intellectually with one another, and live empowered lives. Establish in 2005, OLLI is supported by the Bernard Osher Foundation. Pitt is one of 118 OLLIs located on college campuses throughout the United States.
The sold out five-week HHC-Osher class offered at Pitt was titled History 412: Discover the Sites and Stories That Make Our Region Unique. Each week a new HHC Affiliate historic site taught that evening's class at Pitt. The Donora Historical Society, along with author and Stan Musial researcher Kathleen Shoop, taught the fourth week of the Pitt-Osher session class on April 3, 2019, on the Pitt campus in Oakland in the English Nationality Room of the Cathedral of Learning. That evening's session was titled, Stan "The Man" Musial.
Stan "The Man" Musial at the Heinz History Center for SABR:
In 2023, the Donora Historical Society was part of the semi-annual meeting of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) - Forbes Field Chapter held at the Heinz History Center.SABR is a membership organization dedicated to fostering the research and dissemination of the history and record of baseball, primarily through the use of statistics. SABR's Forbes Field Chapter is the baseball organization's group based out of Pittsburgh, PA whose intention is to spread baseball news and SABR-related content relevant to the Pittsburgh and the SWPA region.Inspired by some of their members being on hand for our Stan "The Man" Musial presentation and historic marker dedication on July 30, 2022, the Donora Historical Society gave an hour-long presentation to the chapter titled, "From the Sandlots of Donora, Pa. - To an Afternoon at Forbes Field with Stan 'The Man'." This is a new presentation for the society that discusses the comprehensive history of Donora baseball and Stan "The Man" Musial.
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