Bryce Harper granted Musial request

Updated: January 30, 2013, 11:57 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Washington Nationals phenom Bryce Harper was able to grant a request for Stan Musial before the baseball icon and Hall of Famer died earlier this month.

"He asked me for a jersey last year," Harper told Holden and Danny of 106.7 The Fan. "I was lucky enough to get one back for him. What a great ballplayer, great role model. What a tough loss for the baseball world. He's gonna be missed, of course."

[+] EnlargeBryce Harper
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty ImagesBryce Harper, one of baseball's young stars, signed a jersey for Stan Musial before the Hall of Famer died earlier this month at age 92.

Harper, who became the youngest position player to be named the National League Rookie of the Year at just 19 years old, was surprised by the request which came through the Nationals.

"They just said, 'Hey, we need a jersey signed and we need you to personalize it' and whatnot, and I said 'OK, to who?' and they said [Musial] and I was like, whoa! What a great honor to sign a jersey for a great Hall of Fame guy like that. I was lucky enough and blessed to have him ask for my autograph," Harper said.

Musial, one of baseball's greatest hitters and a Hall of Famer who played for the St. Louis Cardinals for more than two decades, died on Jan. 19 at age 92.

"Stan the Man" won seven National League batting titles, was a three-time MVP and helped the Cardinals capture three World Series championships in the 1940s.

Musial was so revered in St. Louis, two statues of him stand outside Busch Stadium. He spent his entire 22-year career with the Cardinals and made the All-Star team 24 times -- baseball held two All-Star Games each summer for a few seasons.

Widely considered the greatest Cardinals player ever, the outfielder and first baseman was the first person in team history to have his number retired. At the suggestion of a pal, actor John Wayne, Musial also carried around autographed cards of himself to give away.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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