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Columbia Missourian

FROM READERS: Memories of Stan Musial's last game

By HARVEY HOFFMAN/MISSOURIAN READER
January 22, 2013 | 1:05 p.m. CST

Harvey Hoffman has been a lawyer in Columbia for the past 30 years. He is originally from St. Louis and followed the Cardinals, but hasn't felt the same since Musial retired.  

I was lucky enough to go to Stan's last game against Cincinnati in old Busch Stadium. I was 13 years old and a diehard Musial fanatic; I took a little Kodak box camera to the game hoping to get a picture of my hero. When Stan went to bat for the first time during that game, the photographers were all over him and it is amazing that he could even go to the plate. He struck out that first at bat, but I made my way down from the upper deck to get as close as I couldto the Cardinal dugout. Tears were streaming down my face and as Stan approached the dugout, I yelled as loud and as shrill as I could his name and he looked right at me and I took his picture.

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I had that picture blown up to a 5x7 and my dad took me and my brother and sister to Musial and Biggies later on. Stan was there and he came to our table and autographed that picture, which I put into the scrapbook I was making of every Musial event that made the paper since he announced his retirement. When he autographed that scrapbook, he mistakenly put "To Patti." I literally yelled that it was my scrapbook, not hers, and he put "Oh no, to Harvey, Stan Musial." I have that book to this date and when Stan passed, it was the final loss of my childhood memories; he was my hero and I am truly saddened by his passing.

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising Editor Joy Mayer.