"In reality, I think most of us will agree that real-life heroes are hard to find. In fact, to many, especially young people, our heroes are a product of movies, TV and fiction books. But we do have real life heroes, and one of them is our Hope award winner Albert Pujols," La Russa said.

"What separates Albert is his total commitment to his life in and out of baseball. His commitment to his family, faith and also his tireless, in- and out-of-season commitment to the community."