Musial, a seven-time National League batting champion and a 24-time All-Star who turns 90 next week, was among 15 people named to receive the medals, which will be presented by President Obama next year. His entire major league career was spent with the St. Louis Cardinals.
The award is one of the two highest civilian honors than can be bestowed in the United States. It is given for "an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, or to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."
"On behalf of all Major League Baseball, I am truly thrilled that the White House has honored Stan Musial with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, joining other legends of our game like the great Jackie Robinson, Roberto Clemente, Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Buck O'Neil, Henry Aaron and Frank Robinson," Commissioner Bud Selig said.
"Stan Musial is an extraordinary human being, a great American and one of the best players in the history of the game. He has long been a treasure of St. Louis, but he represents all the best of our national pastime."
St. Louis won four National League titles and three World Series championships while Musial was on the team. When he retired in 1963 he held the National League hits record with 3,630, a mark broken by Pete Rose in 1981.