PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The baseball world has lost one of the greatest hitters of all time.
And the people of Donora have lost a hometown legend.
Stan Musial died Saturday at the age of 92.
Musial was a champion on the field and back home in Donora, where he was in November of 1920.
He was the son of a Polish immigrant steel worker.
For the kids who grew up in his neighborhood, there was no greater hero.
“He’s been my hero all these years,” Donora resident Arch Rodriguez said. “He’s been the hero of most people in Donora.”
Charles Stacey remembers going to Forbes Field to see Musial play for the Cardinals.
“We would go down to the railing and Stan would come over and talk to us, and so forth,” Stacey said. “As everybody says, he was a regular guy. He didn’t put on airs in any way, shape or form.”
Meantime, Rodriguez cherishes his prized possession.
It’s the ball he believes was struck by Musial for his 3,000th hit.
“Stan the Man” had many great accomplishments in the game.
But he was considered a champ off the field, too, when among other things.
He welcomed Jackie Robinson to baseball, when Robinson broke the color barrier.
“Stan came from a diverse community,” Stacey said. “He played with black kids and teams with black kids, and so forth. So there was never any racial prejudice on his mind.”
And Musial had one lesser-known talent: the harmonica.