Belle Vernon Area coach Palm remembers great-uncle Musial
The legacy of Stan Musial has affected Belle Vernon Area baseball coach Dan Palm more than most locals involved in the game.
That's because, as Palm revealed Sunday, Musial was his great-uncle.
“He married my grandmother's sister (Lilly Lubash),” Palm said. “It was one of the main reasons I got into baseball and why I've always taken it so seriously. I didn't want people to know, but being from a baseball family, it was always in the back of mind as a reason to be successful.”
Musial, who ranks as one of Major League Baseball's all-time greatest hitters, died Saturday in Ladue, Mo., at the age of 92. Musial was born and raised in Donora and his name still reverberated in local baseball decades after his retirement in 1963.
“Growing up and playing baseball in Donora, that aura was always there,” Palm said. “It's hard not to feel that when you're playing on fields named after him.”
Palm said he wasn't necessarily close with the Musials, but they would often converse during family reunions. Palm's personal highlight with his uncle came in 2006, when Musial flew him out to St. Louis to take in a Pirates-Cardinals game. It was the last season for old Busch Stadium.
“He put us up in a private hotel called the St. Louis Sportsmen's Club. It was neat to see how popular he was out there,” Palm said. “We went out to eat and we couldn't get through dinner 10 minutes without someone asking for an autograph or coming up and telling him, ‘You were my dad's favorite player.'
“It was moving to see how revered he was, and that's when Albert Pujols was still playing (for the Cardinals). He was still ‘The Man' out there.”
With high school baseball lagging nowadays in Western Pennsylvania, Palm admitted he feels some pressure to carry on the legacy of Musial – including his sparkling reputation.
“That's the pride I take in my program … I'm proud we've gotten better and part of what drives me is being from a baseball family,” Palm said. “I'm not only proud of the statistics he produced that match up with the best of all time, but of the great person he was, and that goes for my Aunt Lil too. She was always behind the scenes, but she was his rock … always just a wonderful lady.”
Rick Bruni Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-684-2635.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Homeless man held for robbing Rostraver stores
- Hearing set on dangerous intersection in Rostraver
- Familiar format focuses on journey to Yesteryear visit
- Pawlick opens new company in Allenport
- October is Domestic Violence Month
- 3 hurt in Carroll crash
- Well-traveled Zemko credits homegrown values from Charleroi for successes in life
- Working toward retirement: Be proactive
- North Belle Vernon gets tough on storm water
- Donora Historical Society sets Cement City tour
- Vehicle crashes into building on North Belle Vernon street