Pujols, others to be honored at Musial Awards

Annual event recognizes sportsmanship in baseball

November 19th, 2022

The 2022 Musial Awards will feature honorees from across the baseball world -- headlined by Albert Pujols, who will receive the Stan Musial Lifetime Achievement Award for Sportsmanship, named for his fellow Cardinals icon.

The Musial Awards are the national sportsmanship awards, highlighting the best sportsmanship stories of the year from all of sports. Held every November in St. Louis, this year's awards will be presented on Saturday at the Stifel Theatre. The show will air on CBS on Dec. 24.

Many of the 2022 Musial Award winners come from baseball -- including stars and fans alike -- from the St. Louis legend Pujols to MLB fans to Little Leaguers.

Here's who's receiving a Musial Award for their sportsmanship in baseball.

Albert Pujols (Stan Musial Lifetime Achievement Award for Sportsmanship)

Pujols, who just played his final Major League season, is being honored for how he carried himself throughout a Hall of Fame career.

The Stan Musial Lifetime Achievement Award for Sportsmanship is the chief honor of the Musial Awards, given to "iconic sports figures who exemplify sportsmanship and embody the class, dignity, generosity, excellence, civility and integrity for which Stan the Man was known."

Pujols' character on the field and community involvement off the field during his 22 years in Major League Baseball earned him the Musial Award. That includes his work with the Pujols Family Foundation, which he founded in 2005, and his efforts to help children with Down Syndrome and their families and those dealing with poverty in the Dominican Republic, where Pujols is from.

Pujols won MLB's Roberto Clemente Award in 2008, given annually to the player who best represents baseball through his character and community involvement.

Last year's recipients of the Musial Awards' lifetime achievement award were hockey legend Wayne Gretzky and his wife, Janet.

Brett Phillips and Chloe Grimes

The then-Rays outfielder met the 9-year-old Grimes at a game in April, when she threw out the ceremonial first pitch to Phillips with the Children's Dream Fund following a relapse of cancer.

The fun-loving Phillips, known for his memorable airplane celebration after his walk-off hit in Game 4 of the 2020 World Series, was Grimes' favorite player. Grimes, a softball pitcher herself, brought a good-luck wristband, softball and note for Phillips.

Phillips wore the wristband during the game, and crushed a home run … while Grimes was being interviewed on TV.

Phillips later signed the home run ball and gave it to Grimes, and the two have built a friendship since then, with Phillips and the Rays helping pay Grimes' medical bills and his glove sponsor, Rawlings, inviting Grimes to design a signature "Princess Warrior" glove -- which Phillips also uses.

"Every day I wake up and look down at this [wristband]," Phillips said. "Regardless of what I’m going through, you have a girl that’s 9 years old, battling cancer for the second time. She shows up every day with love and energy. There’s no reason why I can’t continue playing baseball and go through my struggles with a smile on my face."

Mike Lanzillotta

Lanzillotta, a Blue Jays fan, helped young Yankees fan Derek Rodriguez make a lifelong memory at a Yankees-Jays game in Toronto this year.

On May 3, the 9-year-old Rodriguez was at Rogers Centre with his dad, Cesar, to see Aaron Judge, Derek's favorite player. They were sitting a row behind Lanzillotta.

In the sixth inning, Judge hit a home run right to them. Cesar tried to catch the home run but couldn't. Luckily, Lanzillotta grabbed the ball -- and gave it to Derek. With the Judge home run ball in his right hand, Derek tearfully hugged Lanzillotta. The moment was captured by the TV broadcast, and soon it was everywhere.

The next day, the Yankees brought the Rodriguezes and Lanzillotta to the dugout to meet Judge, who signed the home run ball for Derek and gave him a pair of batting gloves.

"I had my chance, and I just did it," Lanzillotta said. "But if Derek hadn’t reacted, I don’t think the moment would have blown up. I don’t know how I didn’t cry myself."

Isaiah Jarvis

In August, the Oklahoma Little Leaguer was playing in the Little League Southwest Region Championship, competing for a spot in the Little League World Series, when he was hit in the head by a pitch from Texas East's Kaiden Shelton.

It was a scary moment, but Jarvis was able to get up and jog to first base. He saw Shelton visibly upset on the mound -- and jogged over to give the young pitcher a hug.

"Hey, you’re doing just great," Jarvis told Shelton.

The moment between the two Little Leaguers quickly circulated, and it's now being celebrated at the Musial Awards.