From Arnold Palmer to 10-year-old Keaton Hamin, it will be a show for the ages at this year’s Musial Awards. The golf legend and the youth hockey player are among those coming from all levels of sport – and all walks of life – to be honored in St. Louis for extraordinary sportsmanship. They will join an unforgettable lineup of award recipients that includes Turner sportscaster Ernie Johnson, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny and other individuals who have displayed remarkable character, kindness, selflessness and integrity in sports.
The Musial Awards – presented by Maryville University – honor Stan the Man’s legacy by celebrating iconic “good sports” and the year’s greatest moments of sportsmanship. The event is produced annually by the St. Louis Sports Commission and the National Sportsmanship Foundation. This year’s show takes place at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5 at the Peabody Opera House in downtown St. Louis.
2015 Musial honorees include:
Arnold Palmer: “The King” is receiving the Stan Musial Lifetime Achievement Award – the pinnacle honor for sportsmanship and one of two special awards presented at the Musial Awards. One of the most popular and accessible sports figures, Palmer built an army of admirers through his down-to-earth, personable approach on and off the golf course. His success in the sport – seven major championships including four Masters titles – is matched by his kindness and philanthropic commitment.
Lauren Hill: The event’s other special award, the Musial Award for Extraordinary Character, will posthumously honor Lauren Hill, the college basketball player whose grace, courage and generous spirit inspired people around the world. Diagnosed with terminal brain cancer at age 18, Hill made headlines last November when she fulfilled her goal to play in a college basketball game for Mount Saint Joseph University and score a basket. She went on to fight a courageous battle against her disease and launched a tireless effort to generate awareness and funds for cancer research. Prior to passing away in April, she raised more than $1.4 million through her LayupForLauren challenge, jersey sales and donations. Hill’s parents, Lisa and Brent, will attend the Musial Awards to accept the Extraordinary Character award on their daughter’s behalf.
Ernie Johnson: In May, Johnson won the Sports Emmy Award for best studio host. In the audience at the ceremony that night were Taelor and Sydni Scott, daughters of the late ESPN anchor Stuart Scott, who passed away earlier this year from cancer. Upon accepting the Emmy, Johnson asked Taelor and Sydni to come on stage, and gave the award to them in honor of their father. That act in itself is deserving of Musial Award recognition. But add to that Johnson’s courage and perseverance as a cancer survivor, his selflessness as the dad to six children – four of whom are adopted – and the care and compassion he provides his son Michael, who was born with a progressive form of muscular dystrophy and lives on a ventilator in his parents’ home. It is clear Johnson embodies the sportsmanship virtues the Musial Awards celebrate.
Mike Matheny: The St. Louis Cardinals manager is being recognized for the class and dignity he exemplifies in the dugout, and the commitment he has made to change the culture of youth sports. Following his retirement from the game as a player, Matheny was asked to coach a youth baseball team and wrote a series of conditions he demanded before accepting the job. The document, which became known as the “Matheny Manifesto,” states his philosophy on what a parent’s role should be in youth sports: a silent source of encouragement. Matheny also instills the importance of character, discipline, unselfishness, teamwork and sportsmanship. Through his book that was released earlier this year and his platform as a major league manager, Matheny is making a difference and changing perspectives to keep sports joyful for young people.
For the full list of honorees, tickets, all-inclusive packages and more, please visit musialawards.com.