Stan Musial to be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom this afternoon

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As was announced last fall, today Stan Musial will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  The ceremony is this afternoon at 1:30PM Eastern/12:30 Central. KSDK.com and NewsChannel 5 in St. Louis will carry it live if you’re interested.

As I said back in November, Musial is most worthy of this. Not just because he was one of the greatest ballplayers who has ever lived, but also because his integrity, demeanor and just plain and simple decency stands for the notion that a sports figure can be a role model, even if we are increasingly inclined to reject that notion in this day and age.  He’s been in the public eye for close to 70 years, and I’ll be damned if I’ve ever read or heard one negative thing about him.  Which is frankly amazing considering how the world works these days.

There is really no one else like Stan Musial in baseball. He doesn’t need an award from the President for anyone to realize it, but by gum, I’m glad he’s getting it.

Anthony DeSclafani crushed a grand slam for his first career home run

Anthony DeSclafani
AP Images
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Reds right-hander Anthony DeSclafani put on a show during Saturday’s matinee against the Cubs. Up 2-1 in the third inning, the hurler hooked a Brian Duensing fastball over the left field fence for his first career home run — and first career grand slam:

Grand slams are impressive no matter the player or situation, but they’re made all the more special in rare circumstances like this one. Not only is DeSclafani the first pitcher to deliver a grand slam in 2018, but he’s the first Reds hurler to do so in nearly 60 years. Per MLB.com’s Brian Scott Rippee, right-hander Bob Purkey was the last to hit a slam for the Reds in 1959, when he took Cubs reliever John Buzhardt deep in the third inning of a 12-3 drubbing.

The 28-year-old righty had a decent outing on the mound as well, holding the Cubs to two runs, four walks, and three strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings before passing the ball to reliever Michael Lorenzen. Entering Saturday, he carried a 2-1 record in three games, with a 4.60 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 8.6 SO/9 across 15 2/3 innings — not too shabby for someone who hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2016.

The Reds currently lead 8-2 in the bottom of the seventh.