World Series Champion Addison Russell headed back to Pace Tuesday afternoon for a pep rally at his former high school. While there, he was presented with awards from several different organizations and commended for being a role model in the community.
After graduation in 2012 and being drafted 11th overall in the first round, the Chicago Cubs Shortstop returned to celebrate the first ever “Addison Russell Day” at Pace High School.
“It’s been a crazy journey and it’s only been four or five years,” Russell said. “There’s so much more to go and seeing how far we’ve came, how far I’ve came and the school has come as a community. It’s just a beautiufl thing to have all these people here.”
Only four years ago, the MLB All-Star was just like any of the other students.
“Walking through the hallways and saying hello to Principal Shell and my baseball coaches…” Russell began. “It puts a smile on my face because I was just a little kid walking through the halls just trying to get by high school.”
After a presentation from students, awards were given, and Russell signed autographs for fans. Then, Russell’s former baseball coach spoke about his impact on baseball in Florida.
“I think it speaks volumes for the whole area,” Coach Charlie Warner said. “Not just Pace, for the baseball talent that comes out of this area.”
Russell wants to show students at Pace hard work and a good attitude will take them to their goals.
“Finally, you’re here in the World Series, and then you’re producing the World Series, and then you win the World Series, and then a lot of other stories go along with that,”Russell said. “It was just a very unique, genuine, awesome feeling.”
Russell and his wife may not live in Pace now, but his mother and father, and his sister, still live here locally.