Albert Pujols’ swing has reached rare heights of achievement. Earlier this season he became baseball’s third fastest player to hit 500 career home runs. His offense has been a fixture of consistency. Albert says, “I train real hard. And I think also to have the experience of being in some tough situations, bottom of the 9th, man in scoring position, pressure. Do the things that –that you need to do to get you ready for 162 games.”
In 2012, the 3-time MVP and 9-time All-Star left the St. Louis Cardinals. His success earned him a 10-year deal with the Los Angeles Angels. Now in his 14th Major League season, Albert endures and defies age, saying, “Your body wears out. I’ve played close to 2,000 and some games, that’s a lot of games. I always want to be in the field no matter what. I believed that it was my responsibility to be out and die for my team.”
His passionate commitment goes past baseball. Albert insists, “I’ve been blessed with so much in the field and off the field.”
Albert and his wife Dee Dee lead The Pujols Family Foundation, meeting needs of those living with Down Syndrome and improving the lives of the impoverished in the Dominican Republic. Albert says, “we want to put others first. We want to make a difference. We are doing His work. We want to do the things that God’s calling us to do, with a person that I make contact with every day.”
Dee Dee explains, “It could be in the heart of an impoverished community in the Dominican. It could be at a restaurant. It could be on the baseball field. Like, I think it’s the compassion that’s kind of that catapult to, um, launch us into whatever action we’re going to take.”
And wherever it takes them. While baseball provides the platform, Albert’s consistent, abiding faith provides his perspective.
Albert believes, “you need to make sure who you represent. And that’s the Lord Jesus Christ. And He’s the one who keeps me humble. Because I believe that it’s not about me, and He changed me to be a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. And He has told me to care about other people first and I’m able to put that through the foundation now. I honor and thank Him every day for giving me this platform and the opportunity.”
Their mission trips to the Dominican Republic are motivated by great empathy. It’s where Albert grew up and once used limes as baseballs to practice the game he loved. Albert remembers, “as a little boy I just wanted to be a professional athlete. If you go down to the D-R, every corner you see people playing baseball, you know, whether it’s in the street, in the park, in their backyard. And that was my dream.”
That dream has been fulfilled, and then some! It now extends to influencing lives.
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SOURCE: The 700 Club