A still-growing record of awards and honors earned by Albert Pujols throughout his outstanding profession has expanded once more, and it is secure to say this addition will ceaselessly be amongst the most particular, judging by the tears he wiped from his eyes.
The retired Pujols acquired the eighth installment of the Stan Musial Lifetime Achievement Award for Sportsmanship at Saturday night’s Musial Awards at Stifel Theatre, additional linking the future Hall of Famer’s legacy to Hall of Famer and award namesake Musial.
“The good recipient,” Musial’s daughter, Jean Edmonds stated earlier than the present. “We love Albert. Like my daughter will say throughout her speech tonight, watching Albert when he was right here was the closest I received to watching my dad, as a result of I used to be 4 when he retired. They had a really particular bond.”
The legacy of Musial, as greatest I can inform, is about reaching greatness whereas refusing to let the pursuit of it decrease goodness. It is a singular factor to be nice whereas additionally being good, and too usually we’re led to consider that being good — good to our teammates, good to our opponents, good to ourselves, good to complete strangers — may be some kind of hindrance to being nice. That’s unsuitable, after all, and Pujols, like Musial, proved it so usually on and off the subject throughout his 22-season profession, whether or not it was hitting house runs on Buddy Walk Day or his basis’s work in the Dominican Republic and with youngsters Down syndrome.
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So usually throughout his ultimate sendoff season in St. Louis, Pujols appeared to smile greater than he did his first time right here. He welcomed rookies below his wings. His pleasure for the recreation turned contagious in the clubhouse, with National League MVP Paul Goldschmidt mentioning lately how he allowed himself to have extra enjoyable this season due to Pujols’ affect.
In some methods, it was much like a years-ago second Pujols described Saturday night time, when Musial requested to see Pujols’ bat earlier than a recreation throughout considered one of his memorable visits to the Cardinals clubhouse. Musial gave the bat a check swing, then with a giant grin teased Pujols that the bat was as mild as a toothpick.
“He would shine,” Pujols stated. “He would stroll into that clubhouse with a giant smile. Forget about what he did on the subject. What he did off the subject, and the legacy he left behind, we nonetheless have a good time it in the present day.”
Greatness and goodness can coexist, and Pujols had firm on the stage Saturday that may be cited as different superior examples.
Musial Award recipients included Little League baseball hitter Isaiah Jarvis, who made a second of sportsmanship go viral when he left his spot on first base to console a pitcher, Kaiden Shelton, who by accident hit him with considered one of his hardest pitches throughout a event. The two boys have grow to be associates and have even performed collectively on a journey staff since.
Seattle NHL fan and pre-med pupil Nadia Popovici used her cellphone throughout a hockey recreation to alert Canucks assistant tools supervisor Brian Hamilton a few regarding mole on the again of his neck. Hamilton received it checked out, and docs later eliminated a malignant melanoma earlier than later declaring him most cancers free. The Canucks in return shocked Popovici with $10,000 to make use of for medical faculty tuition.
Olympic pace skater Brittany Bowe volunteered to surrender her spot in an occasion at the Winter Olympics to a teammate who stumbled throughout a trial, and that teammate, Erin Jackson, went on to win gold in Beijing.
Mississippi highschool powerlifters Syrianna Jones, Demeria Moore, Jorja Roberson, Cara Roberson and Jasmyn Stamper got here collectively to assist an opponent work round a nasty rule that has since been modified. When Diamond Campbell was threatened to be disqualified from a highschool powerlifting championship as a result of she had beads in her hair, the younger girls helped Campbell take away the beads in time for her to repeat a carry that had not been countered. The response to the story prompted the Mississippi High School Activities Association to vary the rule. The group of younger girls accepted the award collectively, introduced by Campbell. Then, all of them flexed.
NFL working again Warrick Dunn acquired the Musial Award for Extraordinary Character. The oldest of six youngsters, Dunn misplaced his mom at the age of 18. He managed to supply a house for his siblings, and he didn’t cease there. The three-time Pro Bowler’s Homes for the Holidays program has helped present furnishings for greater than 200 houses and roughly $1 million in down funds whereas serving greater than 450 single mother and father and kids.
Toronto Blue Jays fan Mike Lanzillotta handed considered one of Aaron Judge’s house run balls from a historic 62-homer season to 9-year-old Yankees fan Derek Rodriguez, incomes cheers from the American League MVP himself.
Brett Phillips and Chloe Grimes struck up an unlikely however highly effective friendship between a serious league baseball participant and a younger lady battling most cancers, one which included Phillips crushing a house run whereas Grimes was being interviewed about Phillips.
And then the stage belonged to Pujols, who had spent his night time hugging and high-fiving the night’s different honorees on their strategy to the highlight. Members of the Musial household greeted him on the stage. Hugs and tears had been shared.
“First of all, I’m actually honored and humbled,” Pujols stated. “Since 2001 once I stepped on that subject for my rookie season, the Musial household accepted me as considered one of their very own.”
The two Cardinals legends had been all the time linked. It’s stronger now.
Photos: 2022 Musial Awards have a good time the 12 months’s greatest moments of sportsmanship