Albert Pujols

Category: Christian Athletes, MLB
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Growing up in the Dominican Republic and practicing baseball using limes for balls and a milk carton for a glove, sports speaker Albert Pujols has made quite the name for himself in the baseball world. After moving to the United States in 1996 and playing one season of college baseball, Pujols was selected by the Cardinals in the 13th round of the 1999 MLB Draft.  After working his way through the minor league, Albert made it on to the St. Louis Cardinals roster and into big leagues in 2001. That same year he unanimously won the National League Rookie of the Year Award. The following year he finished second in the NL Most Valuable Player Award voting, and in 2003 he won the NL batting title after hitting .359.  In 2004 he hit 40 home runs helping the Cardinals reach the World Series. He then went on to win the NL MVP Award in 2005, 2008, and 2009. Pujols also won two World Series with the Cardinals, his first in 2006 and his second in 2011.

After the 2011 season he became a free agent and signed a 10-year deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Coming off an impressive career with the Cardinals, Pujols experienced a slump during his first season with the Cardinals, and in August 2013 it was released that he would not finish the remainder of the season due to a knee injury. Despite this plateau and battling injury, Pujols returned in April 2014 to hit his 499th and 500th home runs of his career making him the 26th player, and third youngest, to ever reach the 500 home run mark.

Motivational speaker Albert Pujols is also a strong advocate of people with Down Syndrome, a condition that one of his own daughters lives with. In 2005 he launched the Pujols Family Foundation.  It is a non-profit organization dedicated to commitment to faith, family, and others.  The foundation also works to promote awareness of Down syndrome and help give support to those who have it and their families, as well as aid the poor in the Dominican Republic and support people with disabilities and life-threatening illnesses. Pujols attends many events for people living with Down syndrome, and he has also taken several trips to the Dominican Republic to take supplies, Doctors, and Dentists, to the poor needing medical assistance.