The St. Louis Cardinal’s Hall of Famer Stan “The Man” Musial, along with Boston Celtic legend Bill Russell, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama.

The Medal of Freedom is the highest honor a civilian of the United States can receive for making an exceedingly great contribution to the interests of our country.

Stan Musial was one of the best baseball players of all time and played in the MLB for 22 years. Along with his service to the league, Musial also served his country in the Navy during World War II.

After his service to both baseball and country, Musial has spent the rest of his life helping those in the St. Louis area. He is a true leader.

Along with his astounding 11 NBA Championships, Bill Russell was also the first African American head coach in the NBA.

Furthermore, Russell led the United States men’s basketball team to a gold medal in the 1956 Summer Olympics.

Along with these two great athletes, 13 other individuals received the award from the President.

Some of the other recipients were George H. W. Bush, Maya Angelou, Yo-Yo Ma and Warren Buffet.

When President Obama spoke of the recipients, he was quoted as saying that they are “the best of who we are and who we aspire to be.”

To spend your whole life working to be the best in a professional sport is one thing. But to then, after you are retired, continue to inspire and be apart of a community is something else altogether.

Working to see that future generations grow to help this country not only showcases the greatness Stan Musial and Bill Russell encompass, but it reveals how genuine they are as individuals.

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