ST. LOUIS – Sept. 6, 2018 – In July, Jim Thome’s accomplishments and impact on the game earned him baseball’s greatest honor: induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.  This fall, the class, civility and integrity that defined his Hall of Fame career will be recognized with the highest award for sportsmanship. Thome is the 2018 recipient of the Stan Musial Lifetime Achievement Award.  The five-time MLB All-Star will be honored at the Musial Awards in St. Louis on Saturday, Nov. 17.

The Musial Awards – presented by Maryville University – celebrate the year’s greatest moments of sportsmanship and the biggest names in sports who embody class and character.  The national event and its awards are named for Stan Musial, the late St. Louis Cardinals legend who was the ultimate good sport.  Produced by the St. Louis Sports Commission and the National Sportsmanship Foundation, the awards show takes place annually at Stifel Theatre (formerly Peabody Opera House) in Downtown
St. Louis.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is the pinnacle honor bestowed at the event.  It is presented to an iconic sports figure who exemplifies sportsmanship and the qualities for which Stan the Man was known.  Thome joins Joe Torre (2014), Arnold Palmer (2015), Cal Ripken Jr. (2016), and Jackie Joyner-Kersee (2017) as recipients.

“Our family and those involved in the Musial Awards are thrilled that Jim is receiving this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award,” said Jean Musial Edmonds, Stan’s daughter.  “He has Hall of Fame credentials as a player and most importantly as a person.  He treated the game and everyone with the greatest respect.  My dad would be proud to know Jim Thome is receiving the award.”

A native of Peoria, Ill., Thome hit 612 home runs, ranking eighth on MLB’s all-time list.  He is one of only five players in history – along with Barry Bonds, Mel Ott, Babe Ruth and Ted Williams – with at least 500 home runs, 1,500 runs scored, 1,600 RBI and 1,700 walks.  His stats made him a first-ballot Hall of Famer.  His integrity, humility and consistency make him a natural to receive the sportsmanship award named for Musial.

Both Thome and Musial spent 22 seasons in the Majors.  Both were beloved in the cities where they played and by those in the game.  In Thome’s Hall of Fame bio, former teammate Michael Cuddyer called him “the nicest, gentlest, kindest guy you will ever meet to everything except the baseball.”

Thome began his career with the Cleveland Indians (1991-2002, 2011), before joining the Philadelphia Phillies (2003-2005, 2012), Chicago White Sox (2006-2008), Los Angeles Dodgers (2009), Minnesota Twins (2010-2011) and Baltimore Orioles (2012).  Thome currently serves as an analyst on MLB Network as well as a special assistant to Chicago White Sox SVP and GM Rick Hahn.

At the Musial Awards, Thome will be honored alongside several individuals recognized for acts of sportsmanship that represent the best in sports and humanity.  Honorees include Ty Koehn, the Minnesota high school pitcher who received widespread acclaim for his selflessness when he struck out opposing player Jack Kocon to end a regional championship game, but instead of celebrating with his teammates, he hugged and consoled Kocon.

The Musial Awards will also honor Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, the Loyola men’s basketball chaplain, who at age 98 captured the hearts of fans around the country with her positive spirit, wit and graciousness during March Madness.  Sister Jean is receiving the Musial Award for Extraordinary Character in recognition of the way she embraced her newfound fame and inspired so many.

The full lineup of honorees will be announced in October with individual announcements made in the coming weeks.

Tickets for the 2018 Musial Awards are on sale through Ticketmaster.  Tickets range from $10 to $50 and can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com, in person at the Stifel Theatre box office and all Ticketmaster ticket centers, or by phone at 800-745-3000.

The Musial Awards also offers an Honoree Circle ticket, which includes prime seating for the show, access to the Musial Awards After Party and reserved parking for $100.  Honoree Circle tickets and event sponsorships can be purchased at MusialAwards.com/tickets or by calling 314-345-5111.

Groups of 10 or more can take advantage of special group pricing by calling 314-345-5121.

Showtime for the 2018 Musial Awards is 7:30 p.m.

In addition to the live awards show on Nov. 17, the Musial Awards will air as a primetime one-hour television special in December on 5 On Your Side (KSDK Channel 5), St. Louis’ NBC affiliate, with potential syndication in other markets.  Past Musial Awards broadcasts have been recognized with eight Mid-America Emmy Awards, five Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, and the Associated Press Award for best TV sports story.

The Musial Awards – presented by Maryville University – takes place annually the Saturday before Thanksgiving at the historic 3,000-seat Stifel Theatre in Downtown St. Louis.  The show is produced by the St. Louis Sports Commission and the National Sportsmanship Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit organization.  In addition to keeping alive the legacy of Stan the Man, the mission of the Musial Awards is to encourage selflessness, integrity and civility in sports and society – and to inspire people across the nation to be good sports.

This marks the 13th year the Musial Awards has taken place in St. Louis.  Since 2011, Maryville University has served as the event’s presenting sponsor.  The school’s involvement, leadership and generosity have helped make the show one of the great nights in sports.