House Pushes for New St. Louis Bridge to be Named for Musial

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Published on June 26 2013 6:38 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 4:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Bipartisan legislation naming the new I-70 bridge over the Mississippi River the “Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge” received the approval of the United States House on Tuesday.

U.S. Reps. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), William Enyart (D-Ill.), Ann Wagner (R-Mo.), Wm. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.) and John Shimkus (R-Ill.) were among 16 co-sponsors of the legislation, H.R. 2383, which passed the House on a vote of 395-2.

“Stan Musial was more than just one of the greatest baseball players of all time. He was an ambassador for the game of baseball, a veteran and a kind, upstanding person,” said Davis, the lead sponsor of the bill. “With this legislation we also recognize that nearly 1.3 million of America’s 21 million veterans live in Illinois and Missouri. Naming the bridge that links these two great states is another way we can honor both the brave men and women who have served this country and ‘Stan the Man’. I’d like to thank Reps. Enyart, Wagner, Clay, Shimkus and Luetkemeyer for their hard work on this legislation and look forward to seeing it signed into law.”

"The name of the new Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge exhibits the values that Southern Illinoisans hold dear,” said Enyart. “Stan was a true gentleman who will be forever remembered for his talent, faith and humility. The sacrifice of our veterans will also be properly recognized in the name of this bridge. I'm proud that service will be remembered for years to come."

"I am thrilled that the House voted today to name the new Mississippi River Bridge after our hero ‘Stan the Man.’ Stan Musial was more than just a great baseball player; he emboldened the virtues of an outstanding citizen,” said Wagner. “As a World War II veteran, he left his professional baseball career to serve his country and never lost his zeal for public service. Throughout his life he always put his community first and he will be truly missed. Hopefully this bridge will remind the people of the St. Louis region about the greatness of Stan Musial and the virtue of public service and community."

“Stan Musial was simply one of the greatest baseball players of all time,” said Clay. “In 22 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals, he helped them win three world championships. He won 7 national league batting titles, three most valuable player awards, and at the time of his retirement in 1963…Stan Musial held 17 individual major league baseball records.”

Congressman Clay also noted Musial’s courage in opposition to discrimination and racial intolerance. He added, “In his own quiet way, Stan Musial was also on the vanguard of fighting discrimination and changing America.  When some white players on the St. Louis Cardinals threatened to boycott the game if they were forced to play with blacks, Musial stood tall for justice and stopped the boycott before it started. When Stan died, stories from those difficult days were told with great reverence and respect.”

“Stan Musial epitomized true greatness on the baseball field and in life,” said Shimkus. “As a veteran himself, I'm sure he would be humbled to share this bridge's name with true heroes - the men and women who have served in our nation's military.”

The legislation now heads to the U.S. Senate for consideration.