Knoxville Bishop to be officiate at Stan Musial funeral

By: Jeff Archer
By: Jeff Archer
Bishop Richard Stika of Knoxville will work Stan Musial

FILE - In this Oct. 27, 2006, file photo, Hall of Famer Stan Musial gets ready to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 5 of the World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and Detroit Tigers in St. Louis. Musial, one of baseball's greatest hitters and a Hall of Famer with the Cardinals for more than two decades, died Saturday, Jan 19, 2012, the team announced. He was 92.(AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The baseball world lost a great player and ambassador of the game this weekend with the passing of Stan Musial at the age of 92. The city of Knoxville will have a presence at his funeral this weekend.

Bishop Richard Stika of Knoxville lived most of his life in St. Louis where he got the chance to know Musial. "I was his pastor. I would see him on a regular basis. Go over to his house and talk baseball. We were honorary co-chairs of a project of a building of a church in St. Louis and so Stan and I would be involved in different projects."

Because of his personal relationship with the Hall of Famer, Musial's family has asked Bishop Stika to be one of three officiate's at his funeral. It's an honor he takes very seriously.

Bishop Stika says, "Fortunatly for me I got to know Stan so my part of it is going to be very personal as his pastor. And part of it is my approach to Stan as a fan of one of the great superstars of baseball."

As for Musial's legacy, Bishop Stika says "Stan the Man" will never be forgotten. "He has been retired from baseball for 50 years, but in St. Louis you can talk to little kids you know 7, 8 you know just learning about baseball. They all know Stan the Man."


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