El Hombre

“In my heart  and mind, I know I can hit anybody. I am always relaxed. It is hard to explain. It’s like playing with my kids. It feels natural.”
Albert Pujols

Albert Pujols immediately established himself as a star by winning the National League’s Rookie of the Year Award in 2001. Pujols is a nine-time All -Star who has won three Most Valuable Player Awards.

Pujols was born and raised in the Dominican Republic and moved to the United States in 1996. He was drafted in the 13th round in 1999 by the St. Louis Cardinals after attending Maple Woods Community College in Kansas City.

Albert won the National League’s batting title in 2003 and on two occasions has led the N.L. in Home Runs.

Pujols ranks among the top 15 players in Major League History in on base and slugging percentage.

If Albert Pujols retired today, he would be inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame as soon as he was eligible. Great hitters hit for power and for average and Pujols is one of the greatest hitters of all-time. He led the Cardinals to a World Championship in 2006.

I think Pujols sets a great example for young players because he plays hard all the time. I saw the Cardinals play the Pirates in Pittsburgh last September in a game that had no bearing on the Pennant Race. The Cardinals were way ahead in this game and Pujols took a extra base with sheer hustle. You would have thought it was the 7th game of the World Series.

Albert also deserves a lot of credit for working hard and making himself into a fine fielding first baseman, one who has won two Gold Gloves.

Pujols got off to a relatively slow start this season but his bat came alive this past weekend. He belted back to back game winning homers against the Cubs.

Since Cardinal great Stan Musial is known as “Stan the Man” (a nickname Brooklyn Dodger fans gave Musial), it is fitting the Pujols should be called “El Hombre.”

As Albert Pujols showed during the Cardinals recent homestand, he is still adding to his legacy.

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