Stan "The Man" Musial

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 below, Stan Musial is sitting second from the left in a Donora High School basketball team photo.
 
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 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, the St. Louis Cardinals drafted Musial as a pitcher, who 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.
 

In the photo to the left, Stan Musial is shown in his U.S. Navy uniform during World War II. Musial continued his membership at the Donora American Legion up until his passing in 2013 - Post-Gazette Obituary.
 
Learn more about Stan "The Man" Musial and his involvement in the Polish Falcons, basketball, baseball, as well as his military career and acceptance of the 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom at the Donora Historical Society. 
 



Stan The Man Park 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.)


Click on our site's Merchandise tab to see the Stan Musial throwback jersey and books being sold by the Historical Society and order yours today.

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, and 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.



Upcoming Events....
 
On Thursday, June 15, 2017 at 11:00 a.m., Smog Museum archivist and curator Brian Charlton will present Stan "The Man" Musial  at the West End Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh at the West End.



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