U.S. Senate approves naming bridge for Stan Musial

The “Stan Span” is almost a reality.

The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bill late Monday to name a new Mississippi River bridge at St. Louis in honor of St. Louis Cardinals great Stan “The Man” Musial.

The measure now goes to the U.S. House.

“There’s nobody I’d rather see welcoming folks into St. Louis than our hometown hero, Stan Musial,” Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat, said in a statement.

Musial spent his entire 22-year career with the Cardinals, leading the team to three World Series wins. He was a three-time Most Valuable Player and seven-time batting champion. He retired in 1963 with 3,630 hits and a .331 batting average.

Musial died Jan. 19 after years of health problems. He was 92.

Almost immediately after his death, fans in the St. Louis region began clamoring to name the new bridge in his honor. The bridge along Interstate 70 is expected to open next year.

“Stan was a true hero to so many Americans, both on and off the field,” Sen. Roy Blunt, a Missouri Republican, said in a statement. “This is a great way for us remember his legacy for years to come.”

The two senators from Missouri and their two Illinois colleagues — Democrat Dick Durbin and Republican Mark Kirk — proposed the naming legislation shortly after Musial’s death.