ST. LOUIS - Athletes from around the country were honored at the Stifel Theatre for the Musial Awards. The evening celebrates those displaying class, character, and sportsmanship. It meant a little more this year for the city of Saint Louis.
There were stories about magical moments in sports during the year 2019 shared on the stage. Two of those honorees made some of those memories in Saint Louis.
“I never in my wildest dreams thought it would happen and it would not have been possible without the St. Louis Blues and the St. Louis Blues organization,” said superfan Laila Anderson.
Anderson suffers from a rare disease called HLH and she exuded resilience, perseverance, and strength throughout her battle.
“A lot of people are getting inspiration from me, and I’m helping other people. That brings me the most joy," she says.
She was honored for her extraordinary character. It’s been a huge past six months for her as she stole the hearts of the Blues and their fans. She is now a part of their memorabilia and was with the team as they visited the White House.
“I know how big Stan Musial is in baseball,” Anderson said.
Blues radio broadcaster, Chris Kerber, was also among those honored.
“When you do something, you do it just because you do it,” Kerber said. “For somebody to pluck it out and recognize it is awkward and very humbling.”
As the city rooted for the Blues in 2019, Kerber gave fellow broadcaster, John Kelly, a chance to take over some of the play-by-play work. Kelly, the team's television play-by-play announcer, had been sidelined when the NHL's national television partner took over broadcasting the playoff games It was a rare opportunity, and that selflessness is now appreciated.
“I am born and raised in St. Louis, so I know what Stan Musial meant to not only the Cardinals but to the region,” Kerber said. “Knowing his heritage and what he was about…this award is the neatest thing I’ve ever been a part of.”
Both Anderson and Kerber exude the character traits that make a difference in the lives of others.
“The selflessness, sportsmanship, and taking care of other people are a part of being a human,” Kerber said.
The awards show was recorded on Saturday night. It airs during a special on December 21, 2019.