John McCaslin

No sooner did our item appear than the phone rang. On the other end was retired Montgomery County public schools English language arts teacher Jeffrey A. Robertshaw of Gaithersburg, whose now-deceased father, Gilbert "Gibby" Robertshaw, happened to have served with Mr. Musial in the Navy.

"I can think of nobody more deserving than Stan 'the Man' to receive the award," Mr. Robertshaw wanted to tell us. "I have a picture of my dad and Stan 'the Man' standing arm in arm, dressed in their fatigues. Dad passed in 1962 at the age of 50, but when I was 12 he surprised me by buying tickets to see the Braves, who were still in Boston in those days, playing the Cardinals."

More memorable, when the game ended and the war veteran and his son were leaving the stadium, "a limousine comes around the corner, and the window went down. 'Gibby, is that you?' And my father responded, 'Stan, yes it is!' Stan was riding in there with another future hall-of-famer, Albert "Red" Schoendienst, and Stan got out of the car. He'd hit three home runs that game, if I recall, and he took out a baseball and said to my dad, 'Who do I make it out to?' "

Mr. Musial, by the way, is unable to accept tonight's Lone Sailor Award in person, so fellow St. Louis Cardinals hall-of-famer Lou Brock will "pinch hit."

John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

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