Air Force baseball head coach Mike Kazlausky was a presenter at the 2017 Stan Musial Awards event Saturday night, Nov. 18, at the historic 3,000-seat Peabody Opera House in downtown St. Louis, Mo. Kazlausky presented a Musial Award to his former coach Paul Mainieri, who is currently the head baseball coach at LSU.
The Musial Awards is named for St. Louis Cardinals legend and Baseball Hall of Famer Stan Musial. The event, which has taken place each year since 2005, honors individuals for remarkable acts of class, character, kindness, selflessness, perseverance and integrity in sports. Award winners represent all levels of athletics – pro, college, high school and youth – and are connected to the most amazing and heartwarming stories.
Mainieri, who was the baseball coach at Air Force from 1989-94, received the award for conducting special tributes to the military academy teams that faced LSU in Alex Box Stadium last February, including Air Force.
“I will accept this award not for myself, but for our players who enthusiastically took part in this in-game demonstration of gratitude,” Mainieri said, “and on behalf of the LSU community, which has demonstrated time and time again its patriotic attitude and appreciation for all of the members in our country’s armed forces.”
“What we did during those games with Army and Air Force was an easy thing to do,” Mainieri explained. “I simply wanted those cadets from those institutions to know that our players and our community of fans at LSU appreciated the sacrifice and commitment that each of them were making for all of us.”
“I hoped that, during the tough times they endure while at the academies and after graduation, they might remember that sign of respect our players gave to them one day on a baseball field, and it might inspire them to continue the trail they were on and complete their mission of service to our country.”
“I was proud to be part of an amazing event last night to honor those who demonstrate the best of sportsmanship and humanity,” Kazlausky said. “Our very own cadet athletes and future leaders were celebrated and it was an honor to present a Musial Award to my mentor coach Mainieri.”
For full information regarding the Musials, log on to: www.MusialAwards.com