Updated at 4:27 p.m.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D) has sent a letter to Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (D) asking him to join in the effort to name the under-construction Mississippi River Bridge north of downtown St. Louis after Stan Musial. A section of the letter reads:
"It is safe to say that Cardinal Nation includes much of your great state of Illinois -- and while it's not a formal boundary, the Line of Demarcation must run somewhere between Bloomington and Springfield. Perhaps not coincidentally, Stan batted .379 in 87 games for the 1941 Springfield Cardinals in your state's capital, before joining the big leagues for good that year.
Updated 12:09 p.m.
The long-time slugger and Hall of Famer for the St. Louis Cardinals died Saturday at age 92. One of the proposals is sponsored by State Senator John Lamping (R, Ladue). He says there was a failed attempt to come up with a name for the bridge two years ago.
“Quite frankly, a lot of the thoughts behind the scenes (were), ‘which politicians do we figure to name this bridge after,’ which I’m personally not much of a fan of," Lamping said. "So what we voted out of the (Senate) Transportation Committee that year was that we name the bridge the ‘Cards-Cubs Bridge,’ which didn’t get any floor time.”
An identical bill has been filed by State Senator Eric Schmitt (R, Glendale). If approved, the bridge would be named the "Stan Musial Memorial Bridge." Both bills would also require approval from the Illinois General Assembly and Governor Pat Quinn (D).
McCaskill, Durbin also file legislation in the U.S. Senate
U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri and fellow Democratic Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois introduced legislation today that, like the state-centric bills, would name the new bridge the “Stan Musial Memorial Bridge.”
During a conference call shortly before taking to the floor to propose the legislation, McCaskill reminisced about meeting Musial and told reporters that she can already hear the bridge being nicknamed “The Stan Span,” or simply “The Stan.”
“I’m not sure that there’s anyone in St. Louis, or there will ever be anyone in St. Louis, that has the kind of love and affection that Stan Musial has and had," McCaskill said. "Stan Musial was loved by Cardinal Nation for all the right reasons. It was never about him, it was never about the money. He was always kind.”
As we reported in 2011, a bridge in Pennsylvania is already named after Musial.
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