The Faith of Albert Pujols

When you’re watching the baseball All-Star Game tonight, you’re bound to see Albert Pujols get a great reception from the hometown St. Louis crowd.

When that happens, think about this article about him by Jeff Passan that discusses Pujols’ Christian faith.

First, some background if you’re not familiar with the player:

His [Pujols'] transcendence is undeniable, even in a steroids-pocked era that infected record books like a virus. Pujols is the only player alive who could flirt with a .400 batting average and 60 home runs. He may well win the first Triple Crown this season since Carl Yastrzemski more than 40 years ago. He will catch the first pitch from President Obama before the 80th All-Star Game at Busch Stadium on Tuesday, the sort of perquisite reserved for royalty.

Teams drafted 401 players before St. Louis selected Pujols in 1999.

And what’s the reason for all his success? God, of course…

But look at the way Pujols puts it:

“God tells me what I need to do,” Albert Pujols said, “and I go out and do it.”

God is a constant figure in Pujols’ life ever since his wife, Deidre, took him to church in 1998 when they started dating. He believes God introduced him to her, and he believes God let him slip to the 13th round to properly motivate him, and he believes God made it so that Bobby Bonilla pulled a hamstring in spring training in 2001, allowing Pujols to play in his stead, win a job and jump start a career.

I don’t believe in all that science stuff,” Pujols said. “I believe in Jesus Christ, who gave me the strength and power and talent to honor him. You can always try to figure it out and be scientific and look for success. Not me. It’s dedication, hard work, practice and God.”

He forgets that it takes at least a subconscious grasp of physics to know when and where to hit the ball for the best possible swing.

And what’s with the recent praise to God for being a lower draft selection? DeJuan Blair did it in the NBA last month. Maybe their lower pick has something to do with their less-than-best skill and talent at the time.

If Pujols was drafted in the first round, does anyone think he’d be cursing God for not giving him enough motivation to do better? I’m going to say no.

Finally, Bobby Bonilla must have been pissed off that God pulled his hamstring because He loved Pujols more.

Too bad Passan doesn’t question anything Pujols is saying here. He doesn’t directly question Pujols’ beliefs, and he doesn’t rebut him with his own thoughts in the final article. He’s a typical sports reporter, happy to get the interview, not willing to ask any tough questions. That’s a lost opportunity.

(Thanks to Tarrkid for the link!)

  • Alec

    Hey, just say his name. “Pujols” haha! But really? “I don’t believe in all that science stuff”?!? That’s just terrible.

  • Ashley

    “I don’t believe in all that science stuff”

    *facepalm* Sometimes, even when I know people like that are out there, I never believe that they will actually, you know, ADMIT to it. Especially wording it in such a way… “All that science stuff.” Enjoy ur curable illnesses in the future…?

  • David D.G.

    “I don’t believe in all that science stuff.”

    Yeah, right. Do you listen to CDs or the radio as you drive to the ballpark in air-conditioned comfort on paved roads? Does the ballpark have lights, metal seats, and indoor plumbing? Do you prefer your beer in cans or bottles? And don’t you just love hearing that amplified organ music playing while you show up at bat on the Jumbotron?

    Let’s just see him even try to get away from the fruits of science in modern America. Not only would it be difficult, but I guarantee that he would hate living like a caveman — which, if he “[doesn't] believe in all that science stuff,” is the only lifestyle he deserves.

    Frakking ingrate!

    ~David D.G.

  • http://tuibguy.com Mike Haubrich, FCD

    I’ll bet it’s all Richard Dawkins, PZ Myer’s, Jerry Coyne and Ophelia Benson’s fault that he doesn’t believe in all that “science” stuff. We really need to shut those guys down or they’ll ruin baseball.

  • Jeff B

    I’m a big fan of the UFC; always get a kick out of the guys who give the sign of the cross right before bashing someones face in.

  • Plainfieldrob

    Hate to be an accomdationist…but being a StL native and someone who bleeds Cardinal Red – I will hereby offer my favorite slugger a ‘pass’ on reason & logic from today through the end of his career.

  • postsimian

    Dammit. Is it time to become a Cubs fan?

  • no1Cardsfan

    I don’t believe in all that science stuff,” Pujols said. “I believe in Jesus Christ, who gave me the strength and power and talent to honor him. You can always try to figure it out and be scientific and look for success. Not me. It’s dedication, hard work, practice and God.”

    I think we need to keep this within the context of what he was speaking about. He didn’t directly say basically what he is saying is that his success comes from God and not scientific steroids! Albert is 100 percent legit and if he were to not be well then…he’d be the biggest hypocrite on the face of this planet for sure!! Albert is playing for the glory of God…some of you may not believe in God but for those of us that do please don’t judge us and we won’t judge you!!! God knew baseball would need a face and he chose Albert…he has earned Gods favor! Hope that helps some of you to better understand his choice of words!!
    For myself I say why not include science with God…afterall He created it! After looking at the size of the universe (the “known” universe that is) I would have to say that it would take MORE faith to not believe there is a God then to say there is no way all this could be UNLESS there is a God. If you want to find God bad enough He can be found and you can count on that!!

  • no1Cardsfan

    I have a thought…how do get something out of nothing?!? If you look at the size of the “known” universe (and i say “known” bcuz the hubble telescope will only go so far) how can you believe that there is no God?!? Our galaxy (the milky way) is one of a billion galaxies in the “known” universe and we aren’t even in the middle of our own galaxy! They say our galaxy in relation to the size of the “known” universe is like putting a quarter down in North America…does that give u some perspective?!? There is no way that something could evolve from nothing!!! Even if it did how did it get there in the first place?!? God is the creator we are the created and God has always been and will always be!! To me it takes more faith to discount God than to believe He created this all (and the infinite nature of it all) to bring himself glory……..if we really understand God we know that He created all this for His glory not ours!!! Albert has it right after all – Go 5!!!!!

  • revatheist

    “I don’t believe in all that science stuff,”

    Well then he better not use all those scientific medicines, treatments, and ointments when he gets sore muscles, cramps, or *gasp* an actual injury; instead, he better just pray to jesus to make it all better. Maybe jesus can console him when his career promptly goes in the shitter.

  • http://encyclopediadramatica.com/The_God_Delusion paceminterris

    What, you would try to question his beliefs on an interview? What damage has he done to you? Typical of neo-atheists.

    Now, a quote from an atheist that didn’t like science:

    “I find it [science] analytical, pretentious and superficial—largely because it does not address itself to dreams, chance, laughter, feelings, or paradox—in other words,—all the things I love the most.”

    Luis Buñuel

    It’s sad that you guys get pissed off at not liking his thoughts on science.

  • A-man

    I certainly hope Pujols never gets seriously injured… Might be a bit difficult to continue his baseball crusade without “all that science stuff”… or does Jesus perform surgery? Only for baseball stars? Ok.

  • Lost Left Coaster

    I suppose that God caused Pujols to commit that embarrassing error in the All Star Game last night! Oh well, the National League will win one of these years.

  • TXatheist

    As a lifelong Cardinals fan this only concludes you can be dumb and a athlete.

  • mike

    As an atheist Pujols fan, I basically agree with the premise of the article. Albert’s faith is very important to him and it clearly gives him a freakishly high level of motivation. This was already plainly obvious..

    I too cringed when I read that comment about not believing in “all that science stuff” — I don’t even know what he means by that. Unfortunate comment. I guess I would have liked the interviewer to press for a little explanation, but it would be political suicide for a St Louis sports reporter to really “get tough” with Albert.

  • http://www.unplanned.us miller.2676

    Our local paper just wrote a pointless story about a AAA player and his religious beliefs.

    This tool draws a cross in the dirt before each at bat.

  • http://www.freewebs.com/guitarsean SeanG

    Sports of all kinds are filled with superstition and religious bullshit. I suppose this happens because of the random chance nature of sports. Humans like to think they have more control than they do. Does anyone know of a sport that isn’t riddled with superstition?

  • phoenixflash

    I am getting soooooo tired of preachy religious athletes. Guess what – we don’t care. Go out, play a good game and worship at your church, not on the field. Was anybody else as annoyed as I when they played “God Bless America” in the 7th inning and had the balls (no pun intended) to ask people to stand? Sorry – not my national anthem.

  • http://joreth.livejournal.com/tag/atheist Joreth

    If there was a god, wouldn’t he have better things to do than hamstring some poor rookie so his favorite player gets a chance to play? Last I checked, sabotaging the opposing team was illegal in sports. But since god is infallible, this means that injuring players for personal gain is not bad and therefore the rules ought to be adjusted to accommodate the new strategy for winning.

    I suppose the reason why we still have hunger and crime and natural disasters is because god is too busy watching the game and rooting for Pujols. Clearly, aiding his career is the more important endeavor.

  • http://nojesusnopeas.blogspot.com James Sweet

    no1cardsfan first says:

    some of you may not believe in God but for those of us that do please don’t judge us and we won’t judge you!!!

    High-larious… You won’t judge us for being atheists? Wow, that’s reassuring. Except that every single time somebody says this, it turns out to be a lie.

    He goes on to say:

    does that give u some perspective?!? There is no way that something could evolve from nothing!!! Even if it did how did it get there in the first place?!? God is the creator we are the created and God has always been and will always be!! To me it takes more faith to discount God than to believe He created this all (and the infinite nature of it all) to bring himself glory…….

    Uh, yeah, okay. This is why the whole “don’t judge us and we won’t judge you” canard is a load of crap. Now you’re saying all kinds of crazy stuff, trying to convert us, saying we lack perspective, have “more faith” than you do, etc. I thought you were going to leave us alone?

    In what way exactly are you not judging us for our lack of belief? Because I must have missed it. It seems to me that like every other religious person who says “don’t judge me and I won’t judge you,” when you say that you are breaking that pesky Commandment about bearing false witness..

    And by the way, we’ve all heard those exact same arguments a bazillion times. Do theists really think we haven’t??!? Wow…

  • Youth Pastor

    I appreciate the fact that Albert Pujols gives glory to whom glory is due, God. He understands that God is His Creator and has endowed him with the talent to be a great baseball player. Kudos to Pujols for living at his faith.