So I particularly enjoyed this article about Cardinal Dolan and Musial:
Dolan and Musial got to know each other well in Rome, after Dolan was named rector of the North American Pontifical College in the 1990s.
Musial and his friend Ed Piszek — the founder of fish stick maker Mrs. Paul’s Kitchens, Inc. — traveled to Poland in the 1970s to support youth athletics and education. The two men helped found a Little League center in Kutno, and in their travels they met the archbishop of Krakow, Karol Wojtyla.
Dolan said Musial later told him that one of the greatest thrills of his life was not when he reached the 3,000-hit mark, but on Oct. 16, 1978, when Wojtyla was elected Pope John Paul II.
Musial’s visits to Rome — where he and other friends of John Paul were led up the Vatican’s “Polish staircase” to the pope’s private apartment — meant visits with Dolan, and the two men got to know one another over the years.
“When I would see Stan on those occasions, he was always beaming,” Dolan said. “He was so fond of the Holy Father.”
According to George Vecsey’s biography, “Stan Musial: An American Life,” Musial and the pope — both athletes — were “physically and psychically comfortable with each other.”
During one early-morning trip up the Polish staircase for a private Mass with John Paul in his personal chapel, some American priests recognized Musial, according to Vecsey’s book.
“I’m entitled to be here because I’m also a Cardinal,” Musial told them.
Tears to the eye. What a small, beautiful world we live in.