Then Musial added with a chuckle, ‘‘Hey, Jack, I'm 75!’’
Thousands filed through the Cathedral Basilica at Musial’s six-hour public visitation on Thursday, and hundreds more attended the service.
Hundreds more were waiting at the more prominent of the two Musial statues outside Busch Stadium, where fans have gathered since Musial died after several years of declining health. Next to the statues were flowers, balloons, teddy bears, helmets, autographed items and a homemade sign that read ‘‘Thanks for the memories. You live in our hearts, No. 6.’’
‘‘He’s been a hero to us for four generations,’’ Kathy Noorman of Wentzville, Mo., said, speaking near the statue. ‘‘He was such a good man, somebody you can hold up to grandkids and your own kids as an example of who they should be.’’
Mark Springman, 57, of Alton, Ill., brought a bottle of champagne to the statue shrine. He saw Musial play in 1963, Stan the Man’s final season, and has been a season-ticket holder for about 15 years.
‘‘He was more than a ballplayer,’’ Springman said. ‘‘He was the man.’’