ST. LOUIS -- The U.S. Senate unanimously passed legislation Thursday to rename the new Interstate 70 bridge over the Mississippi River in St. Louis as the "Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge" in honor of the Cardinals legend.

The legislation, which is expected to be signed by President Barack Obama, was introduced by Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) shortly after Musial died on Jan. 19, 2013.

"As Jack Buck would say, 'That's a winner,'" McCaskill said in a statement. "It's a good day for St. Louis, Cardinal Nation and the Musial family, and I'm thrilled the Stan Span will soon be a reality."

Musial played 22 seasons with the Cardinals from 1941 to 1963 and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame as a player in 1969. He was a 24-time All-Star selection, a three-time National League MVP and won the World Series with St. Louis in 1942, 1944 and 1946. He took a one-season hiatus from baseball in 1945 to serve in the U.S. Navy.

"We are very grateful that the new Mississippi River Bridge will be named the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge," said the Musial children (Dick Musial, Gerry Ashley, Janet Schwarze and Jean Edmonds) in a statement. "Our father would be particularly proud to be forever linked to the many men and women who have bravely and selflessly served our nation."

In February 2011, Obama awarded Musial the Presidential Medal of Freedom, an honor that recognizes civilians who have made an "especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."