ST. LOUIS — The golf legend known as “The King” is receiving the ultimate award named for “The Man.”
Arnold Palmer will accept the Stan Musial Lifetime Achievement Award — the pinnacle honor for sportsmanship — at the Musial Awards in St. Louis on Saturday, Dec. 5.
Hosted annually at the Peabody Opera House in downtown St. Louis, the Musial Awards — presented by Maryville University — honor Stan the Man’s legacy by celebrating the year’s greatest moments of sportsmanship from throughout North America. The program showcases remarkable examples of character, kindness, selflessness and integrity in sports — virtues Musial embodied.
The Lifetime Achievement Award is one of two special awards bestowed at the event. It recognizes an iconic sports figure whose career is defined by class, dignity, generosity and excellence. Like Musial, Palmer epitomizes those qualities. 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. Palmer’s generosity has touched many across the nation.
In addition to being legendary ambassadors of their respective sports, Palmer and Musial are linked by their Western Pennsylvania roots — making it all the more fitting for the golfing great to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award named for Stan.
“I am humbled by the honor and its connection to Stan Musial and sportsmanship,” Palmer said. “Stan and I were very good friends for many years. He was one of my boyhood heroes and a man I came to admire even more in later years when our paths crossed fairly often.”
St. Louisan and United States Golf Association President Tom O’Toole Jr. will join the Musial family in presenting the award to Palmer at the Musial Awards.
“Arnold Palmer is one of the greatest sports icons of all time, not only because of the competitions he won, but also because of the class and character he has exuded throughout his life,” O’Toole said. “Arnold treats everyone with the utmost courtesy and respect. Stan was that way too, and it is why they are both so beloved.”
Palmer is the second recipient of the Musial Lifetime Achievement Award for Sportsmanship. Baseball Hall of Famer Joe Torre accepted the inaugural honor at the Musial Awards in 2014.
Honoring 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 and determination 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. A gesture of sportsmanship helped make that happen. Mount Saint Joseph’s opponent, Hiram College, not only moved the contest up two weeks, the school also gave up its home court advantage so Hill could play in front of family and friends. As it turned out, 10,000 fans showed up for the game at the Cintas Center in Cincinnati.
Hill fought 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. Presented last year to Little League World Series star Mo’ne Davis, the award recognizes an individual or team who demonstrates remarkable poise, perseverance and overall sportsmanship. Lauren Hill personified all those traits and more.
“It is so meaningful to the Musial family that this year’s Lifetime Achievement and Extraordinary Character awards are being presented to Arnold Palmer and posthumously to Lauren Hill,” said Jean Musial Edmonds, Stan’s daughter. “My dad had such great respect for Arnold and would be so thrilled to know he is receiving the award. We also are honored to celebrate Lauren Hill and her courageous and generous spirit, and we’re grateful that her parents Lisa and Brent will be with us at the Musial Awards.”
In addition to the Lifetime Achievement and Extraordinary Character awards, the Musial Awards will recognize several other individuals connected to the most inspiring stories of sportsmanship in 2015. The complete list of this year’s award recipients will be announced in early November.
Tickets for the Musial Awards go on sale at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20. Tickets are $50 (orchestra level seating) and $30 (mezzanine level seating), and can be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com, at the Scottrade Center Box Office, all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers, or by phone at (800) 745-3000. Additional service fees may apply.
The Musial Awards also offers all-inclusive tickets and packages that provide prime seating for the awards show plus access to a pre-show dinner, reserved parking and more. Information can be obtained at www.MusialAwards.com or by contacting Emily Thompson at (314) 345-5111 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to the live awards show on Dec. 5, the Musial Awards will air at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 16, as a primetime one-hour television special on KSDK-TV NewsChannel 5, St. Louis’ NBC affiliate. An encore presentation will air at noon Christmas Day.
The Musial Awards is produced by the St. Louis Sports Commission and the National Sportsmanship Foundation. This marks the 10th year the event has taken place in St. Louis. Show time on Dec. 5 is 7:30 p.m.