December 9, 2011

Who is Albert?

While most of the baseball world is analyzing and discussing the impact Albert Pujols will have on the Angles, the American League West and baseball as a whole, this blog decided to head off in a different direction.

As a fan, I know I will never have the opportunity to get to know Albert on a personal level and what I know about him will come from what I can find on the internet, experience through the media and watch from a far. Never-the-less, the quest to know the man is something I wanted to take on and I found my answers quite easily and now I'm going to share what I found with you.

Who is Albert?

He has been called the greatest player of our generation; a sure fire-fire, first ballot Hall-of-Famer and yet this is now how Albert wants to be remembered.

He is a three-time National League Most Valuable Player, a nine-time all-star, a two-time Gold Glove winner, a six-time Silver Slugger recipient, a two-time World Champion, and a former Rookie-of-the-Year. These are the kind of rewards that bring tremendous glory to a baseball player and yet- Albert would rather give the glory to someone else.

His nickname is “The Machine” because he does things on a baseball field that go beyond what normal human beings ought to be able to accomplish. He has a career OPS of 1.037, 445 career homeruns, and a career .328 batting average. And yet – Albert is fully aware of just how flawed of a “human” he really is.

Little kids idolize him; grown men and women adore him and his peers may even envy him, but he would rather all of them worship someone else.

Who is this man?

This is his testimony as posted on the Pujols Family Foundation web site:

"Over the last decade my life has radically changed. I went from being a kid with a dream in the Dominican Republic, to playing professional baseball, Rookie of the Year, National League MVP, and winning a Gold Glove and World Championship!

What has not changed is my love for Jesus Christ. In the spring of 1998, my soon to be wife, Deidre, began sharing with me the love of Jesus. My most exciting moment came when I asked Jesus Christ to come into my life. If it weren't for Jesus, I would not be where I am today and my life would be without purpose. I've heard kids say they want to be just like me when they grow up. They should know I want to be just like Jesus."

This is who Albert is.

And this is his statement of faith…

It makes sense for the Pujols Family Foundation website to have information about what our foundation does, our events, and ways to partner with us. We obviously care greatly about people and families who live with Down syndrome, as well as those impoverished families I left behind in the Dominican Republic. But why “Faith?” Why is “Faith” the first word in our mission statement: “Faith, Family and Others?”
The answer simply is because our faith in Jesus Christ is the central point of our individual lives, our marriage, family and Foundation. Take Jesus Christ and faith in Him out of the equation and all those other things would not exist.

People have said to me, “Albert, I would give anything to be able to play baseball like you.” They may look at my abilities and think that being a great baseball player is the goal of my life. Believe it or not, baseball is not the chief ambition of my life. Becoming a great baseball player is important to me, but it is not my primary focus. Because I know the Hall of Fame is not my ultimate final destination.

My life’s goal is to bring glory to Jesus. My life is not mostly dedicated to the Lord, it is 100% committed to Jesus Christ and His will. God has given me the ability to succeed in the game of baseball. But baseball is not the end; baseball is the means by which my wife, Dee Dee, and I glorify God. Baseball is simply my platform to elevate Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. I would also rather be known as a great husband and father than an All-Star baseball player. Perhaps one day I could be honored with an invitation into Baseball’s Hall of Fame. That would certainly be a boyhood dream of mine come true, but it is a far greater honor that one day I will be in heaven with God to enjoy Him forever.

How do I know that I will spend eternity with God in heaven? It goes back to the original discussion – Faith. The Bible says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” It is my faith in Jesus Christ’s work in my life that grants me eternal life with God. Nothing more, nothing less. That’s why the mission of this Foundation is “Faith, Family, and Others.” It is because our faith is at the heart of everything we are and everything we do.

We have not yet mentioned the idea of “Others” found in our Mission Statement. This word is an important one as well. Jesus commanded in one of His last recorded statements: “Therefore go and make disciples . . .” You may recall 2006 if you are a Cardinals fan. The season culminated with the first World Series Championship in St. Louis in 24 years. For many FANS, it was the highlight of their year. However, if you asked me about the pinnacle of 2006, you would probably be surprised to learn that winning the World Series or winning my first Gold Glove at first base was not the highlight moment of the season for me. My personal favorite moment during that season was seeing two of my friends and teammates come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. That was the peak of my year! Why are “others” important to us? Because they are important to God. “Others” were important enough for Jesus to die on the cross for them; they are much more important than a World Series ring.

Read his complete statement HERE

The accolades are impressive, the statistics are staggering, the contributions to his community are heroic, but these are not the things that define Albert; what he stands for and who he ultimately serves sets Albert apart from the world in which he lives in. His true reward is beyond this place and he simply wants others to know that they can join him at his ultimate destination. That’s who Albert is and it's extremely fitting that he can call himself an "Angel."

1 comment:

  1. Outstanding platform, outstanding individual,"Real Men" need to read this. Well Done!!!!!!!
    From Leonard Newman, Orange County Ca.