This year just continues to get more and more emotional for MLB legend and former Dodgers fan favorite, Albert Pujols.
From announcing his retirement prior to the 2022 season to losing longtime Dodgers broadcaster and friend Vin Scully to playing in his final Home Run Derby, final postseason, and final game of his career to being awarded the Stan Musial Lifetime Achievement Award for Sportsmanship.
Pujols humbly and emotionally accepted the award at this year’s usual Awards on Saturday evening. The award is given out annually and recognizes “iconic sports figures who exemplify sportsmanship and embody the class, dignity, generosity, excellence, civility, and integrity for which Stan Musial was known for.”
— Tom Ackerman (@Ackerman1120) November 20, 2022
Throughout his career, Pujols has always been compared to “Stan the Man” because they share the same compassion for people and have earned a high level of respect by the entire baseball community.
However, Pujols didn’t like the idea of being compared to the legend which he reiterated to media for years during the beginning of his career.
But the comparison was inevitable. Pujols won the Roberto Clemente Award in 2008 for his involvement in the community and received a National Sportsmanship Award in 2009.
Both Pujols and Musial retired after 22 years in the MLB but Albert edged out Stan on the all-time lists in total bases, games played, and extra base hits.
And finally, Pujols will join the St. Louis legend in Cooperstown where they will both hang their names proud in the Hall of Fame for their respective careers.
Pujols finally accepted the comparison as the utmost level of respect especially after receiving the 8th annual award last night.
“To be recognized for being a good person off the field just like Stan was, with an award that bears his name is one of the highest honors of my career.”
The career that ended with 703 homers, 6,211 base hits, 2,218 RBI, 11 All-Star appearances, 3 NL MVP awards, and 2 WS rings, has always just been a bunch of stats to Pujols.
Between his time in St. Louis, Los Angeles, and back in Missouri, he’s always been focused on life outside of the game. On behalf of Dodgers Nation, congrats on the award and a great career, Albert.