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…
“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.”
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!)