Stan "The Man" Musial

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                          STAN "THE MAN" MUSIAL
PHMC PLAQUE DEDICATION AND FUNDRAISING DRIVE
                                                                  (last updated 07/18/21)

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 1938 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, 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 2012, the National Sportsmanship Awards were renamed The Musial Awards.

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 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.)


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.

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 tab.

Ken Griffey, Jr. is shown in the photo to the left on the left. Stan Musial is on the right.






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 Sterling, Alaska, and he then had one of those jars sent to us in Donora -- meaning the jar traveled 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
PHMC Plaque Dedication

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SCHEDULE OF EVENTS: 
Weekend (TBD) in the Summer of 2022

STAN “THE MAN” MUSIAL NIGHTTIME RECEPTION: Possibly either Friday or Saturday evening - Donora’s Croatian Club at 329 Castner Avenue. Mingle with other Musial fans and share stories. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.

HISTORICAL PRESENTATION - Stan "The Man" Musial: Saturday Morning – Donora Borough Building Banquet Hall, 603 Meldon Avenue (Sixth Street entrance) - There was a time in America when it seemed as though even the most casual baseball fan knew that Stan Musial was from Donora, Pennsylvania. That's a testament to the personality and character of Stan Musial, who made it his business to intentionally tell people that his hometown was Donora. A few days after the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the New York Yankees in the 1942 World Series, the 21-year-old Musial was back in Donora, clerking at Labash's Store on McKean Avenue. Even though Stan lived most of his life in St. Louis, he never forgot his roots in Donora. Stan loved Donora and he remained connected to it throughout his life. This historical presentation is not so much a statistical review of Stan's career, but rather the arc of his life. The presentation itself will contain photos, game footage and stories. Allow 1 hour.

STORYTELLING: After the Historical Presentation, through audience participation, all will have the chance to share their Stan Musial memories, stories or memorabilia.

MUSIAL/DONORA BOOK AUTHORS: Various book authors that have written about Stan Musial, the Musial family or the history of Donora will be on hand to answer questions and sign and sell their books that include Donora native Wayne Stewart who wrote "STAN THE MAN - The Life and Times of Stan Musial" and Kathleen Shoop who wrote "The Strongman and the Mermaid" and "The Magician." Other books and authors may be on hand.

PHMC MUSIAL ROAD MARKER PLAQUE DEDICATION: Saturday Morning/Afternoon - 600 Meldon Avenue (Meldon Avenue and Sixth Street) - The “Stan ‘The Man’ Musial” PHMC Plaque will be unveiled and dedicated with comments by the PHMC, Donora native Wayne Stewart, the Donora Historical Society and the Musial Family.

RECEPTION: Saturday Afternoon - After the PHMC Plaque is unveiled, we’ll return to the Donora Borough Building Banquet Hall, 603 Meldon Avenue (Sixth Street entrance) for a Musial plaque dedication reception to mingle with other Musial fans, talk to the book authors and share refreshments.

SMOG MUSEUM OPEN HOUSE: Saturday Afternoon - 595 McKean Avenue - Visit the Donora Historical Society and Smog Museum to see our Stan “The Man” Musial memorabilia and other Donora artifact collections.

STAN MUSIAL DRIVING TOURS: If time permits, we may host private Stan Musial Site Tours around Donora for a fee on Friday and/or Sunday of that weekend.

RSVP: If you’re interested in attending any of the above events, please send us your name, number in your party, email address and phone number to be added to a list so that we can start to get a head count. The indoor events may have an attendance limit.

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STAN “THE MAN” MUSIAL
PHMC Plaque Fundraising Drive

PHMC IN DONORA: Donora currently has two blue roadside plaques with raised yellow lettering commemorating the “1948 Smog” and “Cement City.” The "1948 Smog" plaque stands in front of the Donora Public Library on Meldon Avenue and the "Cement City" plaque stands to the left of Chestnut Street and the Donora Veterans Memorial off Route 837 close to the Stan “The Man” Musial Bridge. These plaques were cast and erected years ago by the Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission (PHMC) to recognize two things that give Donora incredible historic depth, but as we all know, Donora’s historic depth is deeper than just these two subjects. With your help, Donora is now about to get a third plaque.

STAN MUSIAL: The exploits of Donora and St. Louis baseball great Stan “The Man” Musial need no explanation as they speak for themselves. To recognize an individual for a PHMC roadside plaque, that person would not just need exemplary qualifications, but be deceased for at least five years. When Stan Musial died in 2013, the requirement at that time was that a person need be deceased for ten years. In 2020, the Donora Historical Society learned that requirement had changed to just five years, so we decided to submit an application to nominate him for a PHMC plaque. This application process is extremely comprehensive and resulted in us submitting 20 copies of a 20-page application documenting why Stan Musial is worthy of his own PHMC roadside plaque among the 2,300 others that already exist throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

OUTCOME: In March of 2021, we learned that out of the 39 applications submitted to the PHMC in 2020, our application was accepted among a group of 22 others that included people like Pittsburgh artist Andy Warhol. While the PHMC reviews and approves the applications and casts the plaque, they do not pay for it. 

FUNDRAISING: Now that our application was accepted, our next order of business will be raising the necessary money needed to have the plaque cast, in this case $2,150.

Our goal is to not only raise the necessary money for the plaque, but also host a nice reception for those attending the plaque dedication. Any monies in excess of the $2,150 for the plaque, will go towards some sort of refreshments and food for the reception. Any additional monies above that will be used to print a souvenir postcard to commemorate the day and to give donations to Donora organizations that Stan would have supported like he did in the past. While ambitious, we hope we can honor Stan and give those in attendance a nice experience in Donora.

The Donora Historical Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization that is eligible for tax deductible donations to the fullest extent allowed by law.

If you’re interested in helping with a donation toward the plaque and dedication festivities, please send a check with a note saying the donation is for the “Stan Musial plaque.”

Please make checks payable to: Donora Historical Society

Please mail to:          Donora Historical Society
                                  P.O. Box 522
                                  Donora, PA 15033

QUESTIONS:  Please contact the Donora Historical Society with any questions, ideas or interest in volunteering for this particular event, by contacting by phone 724-823-0364 and leave a message or email DonoraHistoricalSociety@gmail.com.

FACEBOOK:  Follow us on Facebook for future updates by searching on the “Donora Historical Society and Smog Museum.”



"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 Saturday, November 21, 2020 at 6:00 p.m., Smog Museum archivist and curator Brian Charlton will present Stan "The Man" Musial  at the Donora Cro Club to celebrate his centennial birthday of November 21, 1920.



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