Cardinal Closer Congratulates Allie P. Reynolds Citizenship Award Winners

Tahlequah native and Cherokee Nation Citizen Ryan Helsley of the St. Louis Cardinals is one of baseball's top closers.(Credit: Billy Hurst/St. Louis Cardinals).
Tahlequah native and Cherokee Nation Citizen Ryan Helsley of the St. Louis Cardinals is one of baseball's top closers.(Credit: Billy Hurst/St. Louis Cardinals).

In a break from Way Back Wednesday, the focus of this week’s post is Oklahoma native and St. Louis Cardinal closer Ryan Helsley, who recently took time from his busy schedule to congratulate the inaugural recipients of the Allie P. Reynolds Citizenship Award. (This is an updated version of a post originally published last November).

This video was shown during the Allie P. Reynolds Award ceremony on April 26 at the First American Museum in Oklahoma City.

A native of Tahlequah, Helsley excelled in football, basketball, and baseball at Sequoyah High School. After concluding his high school career, he played baseball for two seasons at Northeastern State University before being drafted by the Cardinals in the 5th round of the 2015 June amateur draft. 

Helsley had a winding path through the St. Louis minor league system before making his Major League debut in 2019. He made his first All Star game appearance and achieved a break-out season in 2022 when he recorded a 9-1 record with 19 saves and a 1.25 ERA in 64.2 innings pitched.  

After battling through an injury-plagued 2023 season, Helsley is back to form and leading one of the best bullpens in the National League. He is currently the NL co-leader with 10 saves with a 1.69 ERA and 0.93 WHIP. He has struck out 19 batters with only two walks in 16.0 innings pitched.

Helsley is active in his hometown of Tahlequah and has worked with students at the Cherokee Immersion School in the recent past. In 2021, he told Tahlequah Daily Press correspondent Shane Richardson that he encourages the students to chase their dreams, however big they may be. 

“Challenge and push yourselves,” Helsley said. “You will find that your limits are a lot higher than you think. Travel, go to school in a different state, go to med school or law school, whatever you want to do, you can. I know it sounds cliché, but you are only young once and you only get one life so chase your dreams.”

Both Allie P. Reynolds Award recipients were surprised and honored by Helsley’s kind gesture. 

Moss says “I thought it was very cool and would like to thank Ryan for taking time out of his busy schedule to send us a shoutout! I never expected it.  I love that we are both Cherokee Nation citizens and I wish him the best of luck this season! #FAR” 

It was also a thrill for Siemers, who happens to be a huge Cardinals fan. 

“For my birthday, my parents took me to a Cardinals game the weekend before the awards ceremony,” Siemers said. 

“The Cardinals are my favorite team, so I was in shock when I saw Ryan congratulate me by name. It was a cool experience that not many get to have, and it meant a lot to me!” 

  

1 Comments

  1. irisgomez on May 7, 2024 at 3:19 pm

    Congratulations to all the winners.