Albert Pujols of Cardinals Receives Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award: “Part of My Responsibility”

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St. Louis Cardinals legend Albert Pujols has earned recognition on the pitch throughout his storied 22-year career. He won three MVP awards, was selected to play in 11 All-Star Games, played in two World Series teams at St. Louis and is a member of the 600 home run and 3,000 hit clubs.

On Wednesday evening, Pujols was honored for his work off the field and was selected as the recipient of the 2022 Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award. at ESPYS.

Albert Pujols of St. Louis Cardinals during the T-Mobile Home Run Derby at Dodger Stadium on Monday, July 18, 2022 in Los Angeles.

Albert Pujols of St. Louis Cardinals during the T-Mobile Home Run Derby at Dodger Stadium on Monday, July 18, 2022 in Los Angeles.
(Daniel Sheary/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

The award recognizes an individual whose “consistent, demonstrated leadership has had a measurable positive impact on their community through sport.

“The candidate must adhere to the core principles that Muhammad Ali embodied so well, including confidence, conviction, dedication, giving and respect,” ESPN reported.

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In 2005, Pujols founded the Pujols Family Foundation, which aims to improve the lives of poor people in the Dominican Republic and also helps children and families living with Down Syndrome.

Albert Pujols of St. Louis Cardinals Bats in the fourth inning during the 92nd MLB All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, July 19, 2022, in Los Angeles.

Albert Pujols of St. Louis Cardinals Bats in the fourth inning during the 92nd MLB All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, July 19, 2022, in Los Angeles.
(Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

I have a daughter with Down SyndromeIsabella, Pujols said in the ESPYS video. – I didn’t know what Down’s syndrome was, and I had to learn a lot.

“We have programs for some of these kids and adults. For example, basketball and cooking lessons.”

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Pujols will call it a career after the 2022 season, leaving behind arguably the greatest offensive player of the generation and one of the greatest players of all time. But Pujols says his off-pitch work is what he enjoys the most.

Albert Pujols attends ESPYS 2022 at the Dolby Theater on July 20, 2022 in Hollywood.

Albert Pujols attends ESPYS 2022 at the Dolby Theater on July 20, 2022 in Hollywood.
(Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

“It’s part of my responsibility, part of this journey, to give back to the community,” Pujols said. “As big as my career is, my passion is what I do when the season ends. And that is to serve and give in return. That’s how I want to be remembered.”

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This is the second time in three years Major League Baseball Player took home the award. Nelson Cruz received the 2020 award.