Albert Pujols was named the 2022 recipient of the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award as part of the ESPYS on Wednesday night in Los Angeles, another accolade for the retiring St. Louis Cardinals slugger.
The award is given to an athlete whose "continuous, demonstrated leadership has created a measured positive impact on their community through sports. The candidate must embrace the core principles that Muhammad Ali embodied so well, including confidence, conviction, dedication, giving and respect."
Pujols certainly embodies all of those characteristics.
He is president of the Pujols Family Foundation, which has had a twofold cause since its inception in 2005: helping the impoverished in his native Dominican Republic and aiding those living with Down syndrome in the United States. The slugger's daughter, Isabella, has Down syndrome, a genetic disorder.
"As great as my career has been, my passion is what I do when the season is over and that is to serve and to give back. That is how I want to be remembered," Pujols said.
Pujols called Ali an "incredible man" whose legacy "will never be forgotten." He called it an honor to win an award in his name.
The award was formerly called the Sports Humanitarian of the Year Award, but was renamed in 2017, a year after Ali's death, to honor the legacy of the boxing great's impact on society.