Stan “The Man” Musial was a long-time friend of Little League®, and at the 2014 Musial Awards in St. Louis, Mo., the sportsmanship of Little League graduates, players, and coaches was front and center.
Produced by the National Sportsmanship Foundation, the Musial Awards are given annually to athletes, coaches, and sports personalities from around the nation to recognize their remarkable acts of class, character, kindness, selflessness, perseverance, and honesty in sports. Award winners represent all levels of athletics – pro, college, high school and youth – and are connected to the most amazing and heartwarming stories.
On Saturday, November 22, Joe Torre, MLB Executive and 2013 recipient of the William A. “Bill” Shea Distinguished Little League Graduate Award; David Belisle, Cumberland (R.I.) American Little League Manager in both the 2011 and 2014 Little League Baseball® World Series; and Mo’ne Davis, player on the Taney Youth Baseball Association Little League team from Philadelphia, Pa., in the 2014 Little League Baseball World Series, were all honored at the Musial Awards.
Members of the Musial family presented Mr. Torre with the Stan Musial Lifetime Achievement Award, while Bill DeWitt III, St. Louis Cardinals President, honored Ms. Davis with the Musial Award for Extraordinary Character. Ms. Davis became the first female Little League Baseball World Series player to win a game as a pitcher and record an RBI. Stephen D. Keener, Little League President and CEO, presented Mr. Belisle his Musial Award. Mr. Belisle’s inspirational post-game speeches at the 2014 Little League Baseball World Series captured the hearts of millions of people. Click here to watch one of his speeches.
“Having so many members of the Little League family recognized at this year’s Musial Awards is a wonderful example of how important sportsmanship is to Little League Baseball and Softball,” said Mr. Keener. “For 75 years, Little League has been integral in teaching children meaningful life-lessons while also stressing fair play on the ball field. The Little League Pledge includes the words, I Will Play Fair and Strive to Win But Win or Lose I Will Always Do My Best. Those words were first spoken more than seven decades ago, and they continue to be a point of emphasis in the Little League program.”
The National Sportsmanship Awards have been held in St. Louis since 2005. In 2012, the awards were renamed in honor of Mr. Musial.
Mr. Musial was an ardent supporter of Little League, and a driving force of Little League in Europe, along with his friend Ed Piszek, former Little League Foundation Trustee. The two stadiums at the Little League European Region Training Center in Kutno are named for Mr. Musial and Mr. Piszek, who founded Mrs. Paul's Kitchens.
More information on the Musial Awards is available at STLSports.org.